Nick Rimando shines as Ned Grabavoy nets the game winner in an early Western Conference test for Real Salt Lake against last years Western Conference champions the Portland Timbers. Rimando returned to the pitch after missing two matches on the road where RSL missed chances but still came away with ties against Philadelphia and Kansas City. Rimando had a great night and the problem that kept him out for two weeks appears to be resolved.
Nick’s teammates and coach had some great things to say about him after the match as Kyle Beckerman stated that “He’s amazing” and that it’s what they have come to expect from him. Coach Jeff Cassar kept the sentiment when he responded to the question with “The saves were world-class and kept our team in it”.
Rimando is now one clean sheet away from the MLS record currently held by Kevin Hartman.
RSL came out strong for the first 20 minutes of the match with great pressure on the Timbers Defense. With a couple of great chance early it looked good for a result, however, it just seemed that things are still not in synch with the Sabario, Gomez duo up front.
With the score still tied at 0-0 RSL made a couple of substitutions. Sabastian Velasquez entered the match replacing Luke Mulholland who has quickly become a key part of the RSL lineup, but who seemed a little bit behind the ball at this point in the match. Crowd favorite Joao Plata came in for Olmes Garcia after being injured with a hamstring injury.
The substitutions re-energized the RSL lineup and finally resulted the 78th minute goal by Ned Grabavoy in what ended up being the game winner. The sold out Rio Tinto Stadium was standing room only for this 1-0 match that ended with RSL on top.
Real Salt Lake remains the only unbeaten team in Major League Soccer.
Real Salt Lake (3-0-4) takes on the Vancouver Whitecaps (2-2-3) at Rio Tinto Stadium next Saturday.