SANDY, Utah – Nick Rimando will take the field for an MLS regular-season game for the 500th time on Saturday, when Real Salt Lake take on the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
Salt Lake’s goalkeeper will mind the net for an important Western Conference showdown, with the teams separated by just one point – and the playoff line – in the midst of the crowded West standings.
Playoff positioning may be important because, at most, Rimando has 24 more games to suit up for in his final professional season, considering RSL's remaining league matches, the All-Star Game presented by Target, Leagues Cup and potential playoffs involvement.
The numbers he has stacked up in his career – as the all-time MLS leader in wins, shutouts, games played and saves – haven’t changed how he prepares or what he does, except now he has distanced himself even more than any other MLS goalkeeper in the record books.
Stepping on the field for the 500th time won’t necessarily be any different than the 499 times before. But, it’ll also be one game closer to his final match, whenever that may be.
“It’ll be a special moment for me when it does happen,” Rimando said after Wednesday's 1-0 win over Columbus Crew SC, but the 13-year RSL veteran would rather live in the moment. “I’m taking it one day at time. One game at a time for me.”
Five hundred games, two MLS Cup victories, 214 wins, 147 shutouts. One at a time.
“I’m enjoying the three points and happy for the guys in the locker room,” Rimando said. He may not like to admit it, but he’s still taking some things with him that he maybe wouldn’t have earlier in his career.
“Yes, I take it in,” he added. “I take it any time we can get three points in front of our fans in our stadium. Back-to-back wins is always good too.”
Up next, he’s looking for three straight on Saturday at San Jose, and against all-time MLS goals leader Chris Wondolowski to boot.