SANDY, Utah—For the third time in a week, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando broke an MLS all-time record. Saturday's 3-1 victory against the Chicago Fire marked Rimando's 181st career win, passing Kevin Hartman's long-standing 180.
Rimando already owned the career shutout record (126) and in the past seven days has taken over the career starts, career minutes played and now career victories records. Last Sunday at Philadelphia, he broke the career starts record, which now stands at 414. On Wednesday at Toronto, he set the career minutes mark, which now stands at 37,413. On Saturday, his team won for the 181st time with him in goal.
“It's all to myself now,” Rimando said. “It feels real good. I share it with a lot of teammates over the past years and lots of fans and my family. To get myself on the sheet at No. 1 feels great.”
Rimando has amassed wins for the Miami Fusion, D.C. United and Real Salt Lake. The victory against Chicago is the 14th of his career against them, the fourth-most against any team.
Saturday’s victory was also marked his 70th at Rio Tinto Stadium, the first in five recent tries for RSL. The career achievement was about the only thing that would overshadow two goals and an assist from Javier Morales, as Salt Lake earned the full three points at home.
“When you continue to do the right things, good things come.” Rimando said. “We just needed to focus on the game and the win would come.”
While that was true on Saturday, it has also been true of Rimando throughout his 17-year career.
“You don't achieve that record by doing one thing,” said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. “It's many things. It's being a leader. It's being unbelievable at your craft. He's come up big so many times for this club in moments when it's shootouts and big saves. He's a leader in the way he approaches the game and he's just gotten better and better.”
The only league records left without his name atop the column are career games, which he’s three away from tying, and career saves (only has 45 to go). Rimando made three big saves in the second half to keep RSL comfortably ahead. He managed to deny Nick LaBrocca twice in the final minute of stoppage time to incite the crowd further into “Nick Rimando” chants.
The records have fallen fast this week, but they weren’t on Rimando’s radar at the start of this season.
“This year, honestly I didn't know how close I was to the wins and minutes [records],” Rimando said. “Shutouts I felt like I knew earlier on, but this year I knew to focus on the team and playing and just focusing on results.”
The wins have come in bunches for Rimando and RSL hopes they’ll continue, especially at home. Salt Lake heads to Seattle for a game on Sunday, August 14 (7pm ET; FS1 | MLS LIVE), before returning home for a three-game homestand.