Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando wins second straight Save of the Year award
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando certainly has a penchant for the spectacular.
The veteran netminder claimed his second consecutive MLS Save of the Year award on Thursday, winning just less than 30 percent of a fan vote that saw all four candidates in the running collect at least 22 percent of the final tally.
Rimando won the award for his double save in a Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry match against the Colorado Rapids in Week 23, first getting down with blazing speed to stop Jaime Castrillón's snap header, then sprawling the other way to tip the rebound away from danger just as it looked like it was about to go in off an RSL player.
The 33-year-old's closest contender for the award was LA Galaxy newcomer Jaime Penedo and his stunning stop on Vancouver's Jordan Harvey in Week 26. Trailing Penedo were Portland's Donovan Ricketts and his double save against the Vancouver Whitecaps in Week 32, followed by FC Dallas 'keeper Raúl Fernández and his denial of LA's Gyasi Zardes in Week 19. You can see the final four candidates in action here.
The final field of four saves was whittled down from the 35 Save of the Week winners in 2013 by a fan vote. You can check out the full details of the contest here and see all 35 Save of the Week winners from 2013 here.
Rimando joins former Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller as the only other two-time and back-to-back Save of the Year winner. Keller claimed the award in 2010 and 2011, while former Houston Dynamo netminder Pat Onstad claimed the award in 2009, the first year it was given.
Final Fan Vote:
1. Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. COL, Week 23 - 29.96%
2. Jaime Penedo (LA) vs. VAN, Week 26 - 24.47%
3. Donovan Ricketts (POR) vs. VAN, Week 32 - 23.28%
4. Raúl Fernández (DAL) vs. LA, Week 19 - 22.3%
Past MLS Save of the Year winners:
2012: Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
2011: Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders
2010: Kasey Keller - Seattle Sounders
2009: Pat Onstad - Houston Dynamo