NEW YORK — Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that RSL GK Nick Rimando has won 2012 Save of the Year.
Rimando was honored for his acrobatic stop of Kansas City FW Kei Kamara's shot in RSL's April 14 match at Sporting Kansas City. Kamara got on the end of a corner kick at the top of the six-yard-box, snapping a header toward goal that an off-balance Rimando reacted quickly to and pawed away.
"Saves are never planned but when you have a chance to help your team it feels great," Rimando said. "It's always an honor to be recognized. I also have to thank RSL DF Nat Borchers for losing his man and allowing me to make the save for this year's award."
The 2012 Save of the Year was determined by an online fan vote, with supporters narrowing down an initial field of 64 to four finalists. Rimando - who won Save of the Week an astonishing seven times this season and finished fourth in Goalkeeper of the Year voting - had three saves in the final four, with the winning stop taking 38.53 percent of the vote.
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In all, Rimando's three saves took 76.3 percent of the final vote, with Vancouver GK Joe Cannon's March 24 stop against D.C. taking the remaining 23.7 percent.
The final poll results for the four finalists:
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. SKC, 4/14 38.53%
Joe Cannon (VAN) vs. DC, 3/24 23.7%
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. LA, 3/10 22.57%
Nick Rimando (RSL) vs. NE, 5/5 15.21%
This is the first time that a Real Salt Lake player has won the Save of the Year award. Claret-and-Cobalt MF Will Johnson won the AT&T Goal of the Year award in 2008.