SANDY — Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando recorded his 100th shutout this past weekend. It was his 64th for the Claret and Cobalt.
The veteran keeper was candid with reporters at Wednesday's practice in Salt Lake, before the team departs for Washington, D.C., Thursday.
"It means that I'm old. It means that I have been in this league for a while," said Rimando. "It feels good to get that 100th shutout in Real colors for sure. I've spent a lot of time and invested a lot here, so to go out there with those guys and do it in those colors means a lot."
Rimando's only regret?
It wasn't in front of 21,000 rowdy soccer fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"I would have loved to have gotten it back at Rio Tinto in front of our fans and my family, but you take them when they come."
RSL head coach Jason Kreis praised his keeper, noting the similarity of Rimando's 100th shutout to his own 100th goal as a player back in 2005 — minus the backflip of course.
"It's huge. Very, very similar to when I scored my 100th goal," said Kreis. "I think it should be recognized, celebrated, respected and appreciated by all of us. It's big time."
In order to preserve the shutout, Rimando had to block two shots on goal Sunday night. San Jose, most notably Chris Wondolowski, misfired all night with the reigning MVP taking eight shots with just one on frame.
Thankfully for Rimando, and RSL fans, Chris Schuler stepped up big time to command the RSL backline and effectively break down the San Jose attack.
"He needed to," said Rimando of Schuler's performance Sunday night. "He earned the position back there, and with Nat Borchers out, he definitely stepped up in communicating back there and led the back four."
PERFORMER OF THE MATCH: Schuler anchored the backline at San Jose, and will be relied on for weeks to come as usual starters Borchers (quad) and Chris Wingert (foot) continue to recover from surgery.
"I guess if you press me to say one performer of the match for me it was Chris Schuler," Kreis said. "I know (Alvaro) Saborio scored the two goals, but when you look at the number of confrontations won by Schuler, it was in the 30s. That's just unbelievable.Comment on this story
"Big time performance on his part, and now we'll see if he can be consistent with that going forward," Kreis added.
It's a little bit of a different feeling for Schuler, who has been competing for a starting spot since his arrival in Salt Lake in 2010.
"I definitely feel like there is a little more pressure that comes with being a slated starter. You're expected to play, so you have to be ready every week, versus trying to get ready to play, while fighting for a spot. It's a little different," said Schuler.