Is Nick Rimando the best penalty-kick stopper in MLS history?

We all know that Nick Rimando is considered to be the king of saving penalty kicks in MLS circles, and rightly so.

Famously, he saved two penalties in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals while with D.C. United, stopping Jay Heaps and Clint Dempsey while Steve Ralston missed his penalty. Those stops helped D.C. reach MLS Cup and ultimately lift the trophy.

Five years later, while with Real Salt Lake, Rimando was involved in two penalty-kick shootouts as RSL won the 2009 MLS Cup. In the Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Fire, Rimando saved penalties from John Thorrington, Logan Pause and Brandon Prideaux as RSL advanced to the MLS Cup final to face the LA Galaxy.

In that game, Rimando saved penalties from Edson Buddle and Jovan Kirovski to help RSL lift the trophy in Seattle. Then, in the 2013 MLS Cup final, RSL was involved in another penalty-kick shootout, but came up empty-handed against Sporting Kansas City despite a Rimando save against Matt Besler.

During the regular season, Rimando has been just as good. The MLS legend has faced 77 penalty kicks in his league career, with only 50 getting past him. It should be noted that Rimando saved 19 of the 77 penalties, with the other eight going wide of the mark.

Interestingly, Rimando's 35.06 percent saved is not the highest percentage in MLS history. That honor belongs to Matt Jordan, a goalkeeper who spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Burn. Jordan saved seven of the 22 penalties he faced, with two more not going on frame. His 40.91 success rate is tops in MLS history among goalkeepers who faced at least 20 penalties. Jordan is currently the technical director of the Houston Dynamo.

Player Penalty Kicks faced Penalty Kicks scored Success Rate
Matt Jordan 22 13 40.91%
Nick Rimando 77 27 35.06%
Mike Ammann 26 9 34.62%
Dan Kennedy 20 6 30.00%
Pat Onstad 21 6 28.57%
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