Unsurprisingly, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando has won the 2012 MLS Save of the Year. En route to the award, he beat Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon and himself — twice.
Rimando's award-winning save — a reflex save against Sporting KC's Kei Kamara — marks the end of a quality season for the goalkeeper. Despite holding three of the four final contenders and generally impressing through the year, he didn't even hit fourth in goalkeeper of the year tallies.
Some will decry the win, pointing to Rimando's diminutive stature as the cause of such spectacular saves, but it's worth remembering that his height (or, if you will, ability to jump) wasn't involved in the save of the year — it was pure reflex and an understanding of where his body is at all times.
It is worth considering that Rimando makes spectacular saves match-in, match-out, but it's certainly not because he's short that they are spectacular. It's more that he has a finely tuned ability to be in the right positions at the right times, giving him a leg-up on some of his lankier competition who might rely on their physical stature with more regularity.
It's also worth considering that Rimando is fantastic on set pieces, rarely allowing opposing players much joy in the box. His lack of shakiness has been much to RSL's benefit.