SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Nick Rimando solidified his status as the greatest MLS goalkeeper of all time with his 200th career victory, as Real Salt Lake ended a 2-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“It’s special for sure,” Rimando said of the milestone. “I’ve got to give not just myself credit, but all my team mates that I’ve played with credit. I don’t win games by myself that’s clear for sure and those guys out there today fought hard for me and I share it with them, but also a lot of teammates in the past.”
The game did not start off well for RSL, as D.C. United took the early lead in the 9th minute on a goal by Paul Arriola. But RSL countered in the 21st minute as Corey Baird scored his second goal in as many games and third of the season to level the match at one.
Just one minute later, Joseph Mora was given a red card for a hard tackle on Jefferson Savarino. On the restart, Brooks Lennon found Albert Rusnak for the go-ahead goal, giving RSL a 2-1 advantage at the half.
In the 56th minute, Rusnak assisted Savarino, who chipped it over D.C. goalkeeper Steve Clark to give Real a commanding 3-1 lead.
Things got a little tense when Steve Birnbaum made it a 3-2 game in the 83rd minute, but Rimando made five saves to earn the history victory.
“It always comes down to the three points,” said head coach Mike Petke. “I wouldn’t want somebody on my team who would rather have personal glory then three points. The last thing I said (before the kickoff) was three points for the team, 200 wins for Nick and you could tell that he didn’t want to hear that. That’s the credit to Nick. Three points are great and obviously, it’s a special night for Nick; not just for Nick, but for all of us. The players, the organization. Nick represents this organization and anytime he can be recognized is phenomenal.”
RSL (4-5-1) moves into fifth place in the tight Western Conference race. Real next plays at Philadelphia on May 19th.