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MLS, RSL legend Rimando announces 2019 will be final season

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Nick Rimando has done everything a goalkeeper could possibly do during his 19-year MLS career… except win the ever-elusive Goalkeeper of the Year award, of course.

[ MORE: 2019 Western Conference preview | Eastern Conference ]

Inarguably the greatest goalkeeper in league history — given the heights he reached at the position, both figuratively and literally; the way he revolutionized the position in MLS and made everyone rethink how a goalkeeper could look and play; and the longevity with which he did all of it — Rimando announced on Friday that the 2019 season, his 20th, will be his last. He will retire next winter at the age of 40.

Rimando, already the MLS record holder for career clean sheets, wins, saves, and appearances, is a two-time MLS Cup winner (2004, D.C. United; 2009, Real Salt Lake) and five-time All-Star (2011-2015). He was voted MLS Cup MVP in 2009. Two factors — his 5-foot-10 height, and the parallel careers of stalwarts Tim Howard and Brad Guzan — limited Rimando to just 22 caps for the U.S. men’s national team.

[ MORE: Predicting the 2019 MLS season | Growth is still the name of the game ]

While the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year award should be renamed in his honor, Rimando won the award despite setting the standard for MLS ‘keepers for nearly a decade.

Report: Rimando to return to RSL

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USMNT veteran and current MLS free agent Nick Rimando will reportedly return to Real Salt Lake for a 12th season with the club, according to a report by Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.

The report states he received interest on the free agent market from both Los Angeles clubs, but the 38-year-old will return to the club he has made 350 appearances for.

Rimando came to Real Salt Lake from D.C. United in 2006, and has made at least 24 league appearances in every single season since. He has also made 22 playoff appearances for the club across eight playoff campaigns.

He last received a USMNT cap in January of 2017 in a friendly against Serbia, but was part of the 2018 World Cup qualification squad throughout 2017 backing up Tim Howard. Overall, Rimando has played 22 times for the US national team, with 14 goals conceded and nine clean sheets.

The report also states that Kyle Beckerman will return to Rio Tinto Stadium, with the veteran also testing the free agent waters but deciding to re-sign. The pair will be two of just four players left on the roster from the 2009 MLS Cup winning team.

Rimando, Pontius among 40 MLS players eligible for free agency

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Ahead of Tuesday’s Free Agency period, Major League Soccer released a list of 40 eligible players on Sunday.

Veterans over the age of 28 and who have played at least eight seasons in MLS qualified for the list, as well as players out-of-contract and those who didn’t have their options picked up.

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MLS was busy earlier in the day on Sunday when several clubs announced blockbuster trades, including Kei Kamara’s move to Vancouver and expansion side Los Angeles FC’s addition of Walker Zimmerman.

A number of notable MLS veterans are included on the following list, such as Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Chris Pontius of the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls defender Sal Zizzo.

NOTE: The MLS Expansion Draft will also take place on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET as LA FC has the opportunity to select up to five players ahead of its inaugural MLS season in 2018.

Below is the full list of candidates for this offseason’s free agents.

Player Previous
Club
Status
Alexander, Eric HOU Out of Contract
Alston, Kevin ORL Out of Contract
Barrett, Chad RSL Option Decline
Beasley, DaMarcus HOU Out of Contract
Beitashour, Steven TOR Out of Contract
Boswell, Bobby ATL Out of Contract
Burling, Robert COL Out of Contract
Carroll, Brian PHI Retired
Clark, Ricardo HOU Option Decline
DeLaGarza, AJ HOU Option Decline
Deric, Tyler HOU Option Decline
Duka, Dilly NY Option Decline
Evans, Brad SEA Out of Contract
Francis, Shaun MTL Option Decline
Franklin, Sean DC Option Decline
Gordon, Alan COL Option Decline
Harrington, Michael CHI Option Decline
Harris, Atiba DAL Option Decline
Harvey, Jordan VAN Out of Contract
Hernandez, Jason TOR Out of Contract
Jacobson, Andrew VAN Out of Contract
Knighton, Brad NE Out of Contract
Kronberg, Eric MTL Out of Contract
Larentowicz, Jeffrey ATL Option Decline
Loyd, Zachary ATL Option Decline
Moor, Andrew TOR Out of Contract
Morales, Javier DAL Out of Contract
Neagle, Lamar SEA Out of Contract
Nyarko, Patrick DC Out of Contract
Pontius, Chris PHI Out of Contract
Reynish, Kyle ATL Out of Contract
Rimando, Nick RSL Out of Contract
Rogers, Robbie LA Retired
Rolfe, Chris DC Retired
Saunders, Joshua ORL Option Decline
Schuler, Chris RSL Option Decline
Seitz, Christopher DAL Out of Contract
Wingert, Chris RSL Out of Contract
Zemanski, Ben POR Out of Contract
Zizzo, Sal NY Option Decline

MLS Snapshot: Whitecaps outlast RSL to go 3rd in jumbled West

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): Someone’s going to finish top of the Western Conference this season. By the competition rules of MLS, someone will finish the 34-game regular season in first place. No one’s saying the team to do so will be a “good” team, or whatsoever a threat to take MLS Cup from Toronto FC the Eastern Conference winner. Who knows, it might even be the Vancouver Whitecaps, who at no point during their entire existence the last two or three seasons have looked capable of stringing together three consecutive quality performances and establishing themselves as legitimate contenders. The first two-thirds of the 2017 season were merely more of the same for Carl Robinson’s side, with one gigantic exception: the West is extremely not-good this year. Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake sends Vancouver third in the West, three points back of the Portland Timbers with three games in hand.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Week 26 | Weekend preview ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

29′ — Techera turns it in, past a flailing Rimando — Nick Rimando spent the last decade becoming/being the greatest goalkeeper in MLS history, but we all know Father Time is undefeated. We’ve seen him make this pretty routine save probably 300 times in his career. This time, he couldn’t get anywhere near it.

37′ — Ousted caught in two minds, tips ball into his own net — It’s tough to fault David Ousted here, as Yura Movsisyan presents the impossible choice of playing the cross or waiting for the impending header. So impossible, in fact, it’s tough to credit the goal to Movsisyan or Chris Wingert.

52′ — Waston slams home a rebound off the post — No one wants to see Rimando go out like this. I hate seeing it, you hate seeing it, everyone hates it. Heck of a finish from Kendall Waston, who’s not exactly the most composed player the world has ever seen.

55′ — Ousted makes a stunning, diving save — Justen Glad got up and get plenty of power on his header, but Ousted was eager to redeem his earlier blunder.

64′ — Reyna’s diving-missile header beats Rimando for 3-1 — There’s something so satisfying about a player flinging his entire body, head-first, at the ball and watching the back of the net bulge immediately thereafter.

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Man of the match: Bernie Ibini-Isei

Goalscorers: Techera (29′), Wingert (37′), Waston (52′), Reyna (64′), Beltran (83′)

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-0 Real Salt Lake (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Brian Schmetzer’s side went through a similar beginning to the season in 2016, and the club went on to win MLS Cup. The Seattle Sounders will hope to duplicate that feat this season. Coming off a four-match winless run, the Sounders responded well at home on Saturday, knocking off Real Salt Lake behind Harry Shipp’s second goal of the season. Despite Nick Rimando’s best efforts — and his 22nd career penalty kick stop — RSL struggled to finish off numerous chances in the attacking third. Meanwhile, the other goalkeeper in the match was pretty stellar as well, with Stefan Frei making five saves of his own for the hosts.

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Three moments that mattered

39′ — Rimando stones Morris in front of goal — Nick Rimando has built up his reputation as a top MLS goalkeeper in his career, and this 1 v 1 situation showed why.

42′ — Shipp gives Sounders lead at HT — Sometimes you just need to take your shots and good things happen.

55′ — Rimando does what he does best… — Most teams clammer when conceding a penalty kick, but when you have Nick Rimando in goal chances are the shot-stopper will at least get a hand to it.

Man of the match: Stefan Frei

Goalscorers: Harry Shipp (42′)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]