Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando did not give up a single goal in the month of June and was recognized on Wednesday as the MLS Player of the Month, as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). It is the second consecutive month that an RSL player has captured the honor after Alvaro Saborio won the May award.
The defending MLS Cup champions played three June matches against D.C. United, the LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes but they could not find their way past Rimando.
Rimando was credited with single handedly salvaging a point against the San Jose Earthquakes last Friday after his eight saves preserved a 0-0 tie.
“At the end of the game, I’m patting Nick Rimando on the back and saying, ‘You just saved us two points and saved us from giving San Jose all three of them,’” said RSL manager Jason Kreis.
Rimando’s current shutout streak stands at 318 minutes and should Rimando keep New England off the scoresheet on Friday for the game’s first 38 minutes, the resulting 356-minute run without allowing a goal would set a new mark for the longest shutout streak in club history.
He’s on 99 career wins and will look to become only the fifth player in MLS history to hit the century mark against the Revs.
The 31-year-old California native has become only the second MLS goalkeeper to win the Player of the Month award twice. Current English Premier League netminder Brad Friedel earned the honors in 1996 and 1997. It is a rare enough occurrence for a goalkeeper to win the award: of the 93 Player of the Month awards, only 12 ‘keepers have earned the nod from the media.
Rimando, who owns every significant goalkeeping records in RSL annals, is RSL’s all-time leader in minutes played (8,585) and is the only RSL player to feature in every single one of the 1170 regular-season minutes in 2010.
2010 MLS Player of the Month Winners
April: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
May: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
June: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)