Nick Rimando has made 1,932 saves in 401 MLS regular-season games to rank second all-time behind only Kevin Hartman, but few have been as good -- or painful -- as the double save
he made to preserve Real Salt Lake's 2-1 win over Houston on Saturday.
First, he dived and tipped Leonel Miranda's shot off the far post. The rebound came to Andrew Wenger, whose shot from seven yards out ricocheted off Rimando's face and went out
of bounds. The shot was hit so hard that Rimando was knocked to the ground.
"The ball came across and I knew [Miranda] was going to hit it," Rimando said. "My instincts said he was going
to go far post. I stayed and got my finger on it and it hit the post and I was just trying to make myself as big as I can."
Rimando said he's been hit many times in the face, but
Wenger's shot was one of the worst he's taken.
Head coach Jeff Cassar has been with RSL for all 10 of Rimando's seasons, the first seven as goalkeeper coach, and seen him make many
great saves, but few in as critical a moment as with RSL clinging to a 2-1 lead.
"There are not words for it," Cassar said. "It's incredible. But that's Nick Rimando, that's what he does,
and we are very grateful to have him, obviously."
Defender Tony Beltran, who joined RSL in Rimando's second season with the club, said he was not even surprised any more.
"Nick's incredible," he said. "He's the greatest goalie this league has ever seen, probably ever will see. That's a perfect example of why. He really keeps us in games sometimes. To make that big
of an impact from that position -- not many goalies can do that."