Rimando Voted March's MLS Player of the Month

Beats out teammate Javier Morales for his third career honor

Rimando_032611vLA_postgame (620x350)

Photo Credit: 
George Frey / Getty Images


Veteran Netminder Beats out Teammate
Javier Morales to Become First Goalkeeper to Win the Award Three Times


Utah (Sunday, April 3, 2011)

Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando has been voted the Major
League Soccer (MLS) Player of the Month for March
of the 2011 season. The
veteran Rimando took 11 of the 25 first-place votes in the polling and tacked
on five second-place votes, beating out for the top spot his RSL teammate, MF Javier
, the Argentine earning seven first-place nods and five additional
second-place votes.

The voting emphasized the dominating nature
of the Utah side in March, during which RSL went a perfect 4-0-0 in combined
CONCACAF Champions League and MLS regular season action (11 GF/2 GA). With the
award, Rimando becomes the first goalkeeper in MLS history to win the
monthly honor three times
, passing a short-list of two-time winners that
includes Brad Friedel and Matt Pickens.

D.C. United’s Charlie Davies came in
third in the month’s vote, and New York’s Rafa Marquez and New England’s
Shalrie Joseph also received first-choice votes. Other players who were
mentioned in voters’ second choices were Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas
City), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo) and Uruguayan Diego Chaves
(Chicago Fire).

here for the full March 2011 voting results at the North American Soccer
Reporters website.

Real Salt Lake won both of its MLS matches in
March, holding on to win 1-0 in San Jose on MLS First Kick weekend before
beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium last weekend. Rimando
made eight saves in atrocious conditions – with most coming in the last 20
minutes – against the Earthquakes on Mar. 19 at Buck Shaw Stadium, undoubtedly
making the difference between one point and three for the visitors. His
back-to-back stops of Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson during the
Earthquakes’ late-game barrage earned Rimando the MLS Save of the Week honor in
fan voting for the opening week of play.

Rimando added two important saves in the 4-1
drubbing of Los Angeles last weekend, the late-game allowance of a Juan Pablo
Angel-David Beckham connection coming well after the game was in hand in front
of a record crowd of 20,507 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win was the 109th
of his career, good for third place on the league’s career chart in the most
important category of them all. Only Kevin Hartman (156) and Zach Thornton
(131) rank in front of the 12-year veteran and 2010 MLS All-Star selection.
Rimando is also third in career shutouts with 75, placing just one behind the
second-place Thornton (Hartman leads with 93).

Rimando also played two CCL games in March,
capturing a pair of huge wins that have RSL on the brink of more League
history. The 31-year-old began the month with a steady performance on Mar. 1
against the Columbus Crew in a 4-1 win in Sandy that allowed the
Claret-and-Cobalt to advance from its all-MLS Quarterfinal series by the same
aggregate margin.

Rimando added another shutout to his
achievements on Mar. 15 as his side beat Deportivo Saprissa 2-0 in the first
leg of the Semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium to deny the Costa Ricans a road
goal. In the second leg this Tuesday, April 5, in San Jose, Costa Rica (8:00
p.m. MT kickoff, live on FOX Soccer and TeleFutura), Real Salt Lake has the
chance to become the first MLS team since the LA Galaxy in 2000 to advance to
the final of a regional competition, the winner of which qualifies for the FIFA
Club World Cup this December in Japan. 

The MLS Player of the
Month is selected upon the conclusion of each month of the regular season by a
panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print,
television, radio and online media. More information on the organization and
its membership can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.


Career Real Salt Lake MLS Player of
the Month Recipients

August 2006: Jeff Cunningham

July 2008: Nick Rimando

May 2010: Álvaro Saborío

June 2010: Nick Rimando

March 2011: Nick Rimando*

* - First goalkeeper in MLS history named
Player of the Month three times.


/ www.RioTintoStadium.com / www.ESPN700Sports.com