SANDY, Utah — After going down a goal early in the game, Real Salt Lake (4-5-1) remained steady and went on to win 3-2 against visiting D.C. United (1-5-2), which played with 10 men for the majority of the match.
RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando also earned his 200th Major League Soccer win, though immediately after the game he felt the three points were more important.
“I don’t win games by myself, that’s for sure, and those guys out there today fought hard for me. And I share [the milestone] with them, also a lot of teammates in the past,” Rimando said after the match.
Kyle Beckerman is one of those teammates who has been a part of numerous record-breaking performances by Rimando, and Beckerman was happy he got to share in the moment by handing him a trophy commemorating his feat.
“He’s all about the team — his main concern is to get three points, win the game. All that other stuff is a bonus and that’s part of [what] makes him so great,” Beckerman said. “His mindset is always with the team and he’s kept us in so many games and he’s been huge for us for so many years and it’s great to be a part of it.”
Rimando’s 200th win had been on the line for three games, evading him in losses to Orlando City and Vancouver the past two weeks.
May 12, 2018; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman (5) and defender Justen Glad (15) react after a goal by midfielder Albert Rusnak (center) during the first half against D.C. United at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
When Paul Arriola put the visitors up 1-0, it looked as though the storied goalkeeper agaid would be denied. But RSL pushed to end its two-game losing streak and give Rimando his special win in the confines of Rio Tinto Stadium with the announced 16,961 fans in attendance.
The last thing head coach Mike Petke told his squad before the game was, “three points for the team and 200 wins for Nick,” even though he knew Rimando didn’t want the attention.
Shortly after, D.C. United’s Joseph Mora received a red card. After his dismissal, Albert Rusnák made the short-handed United squad pay as he crossed the ball to the back left corner of the goal to give RSL a 2-1 lead in the 26th minute.
D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen wasn’t happy with how his team reacted to the send-off.
“Our reaction to the red card, giving up the goal right away, hurts,” Olsen said.
So while things may not have looked too bright early on, momentum sided with RSL the remainder of the match.
D.C. United made things a bit more interesting when Steve Birnbaum scored a late goal in the 83rd minute to close in on RSL’s lead, but three goals was just enough to win.
“I’m not happy every time I’m here there is some record for him to break,” Olsen joked as he recalled another meeting in which Rimando set the record for career shutouts against his squad.