SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake goalkeeperNick Rimando has his reasons for calling it a career after 20 years, but with an entire season ahead of him, he’s not quite ready to talk about it just yet.
“There’s a lot that goes on with those kinds of decisions,” said Rimando, who began his 20th and final season with a 1-1 draw at Houston last week. “We’ll get to that when the time is right. Right now, I want to focus on Vancouver, Real Salt Lake and this season. But, we’ll get to that.”
But the all-time MLS leader in games, victories, saves and shutouts has enjoyed all the support from family, friends and teammates.
“Yeah, a lot of texts and a lot of people reaching out,” Rimando said. “I got a couple of job offers already. But a lot of friends reaching out and congratulating me on a good career.”
When Rimando made the announcement on Twitter on Friday, he caught some of his teammates by surprise.
“To be honest, my first reaction was surprise because I watch Nick everyday and I feel like he never loses anything year after year,” said defender Tony Beltran, who has spent the last 12 seasons playing with Rimando. “But I’m happy that he feels it’s the right moment for him to step away from the game after this year. I know he’s going to have a fantastic season as his last one.”
The home opener Saturday against Vancouver is exciting for both Rimando and Beltran, who missed all of last year with a knee injury.
“Pure excitement,” Beltran said. “I’ve waited a long time to participate in a game at Rio Tinto again. I was there last year watching and participating in that manner, but it’s not the same.”
“We look forward to these games,” added Rimando. “It gives us an extra boost for sure. We’re looking forward to it and can’t wait to get out there.”