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SANDY — Major League Soccer announced Thursday that Real Salt Lake veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando claimed the 2013 MLS Save of the Year for his double save against the Colorado Rapids earlier during the regular season.
The award-winning save occurred on the road Aug. 3 in the 53rd minute at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in a match that ended in a 2-2 draw for the two sides and returned the Rocky Mountain Cup to the Rapids.
Rimando first blocked a header from Colorado Rapids forward Jaime Castrillon. Rimando’s initial save from Castrillion’s header caught RSL defender Nat Borchers and deflected back towards the net, Rimando immediately bounced back to his feet to block the ball from going in again by diving towards the ground and getting the miraculous double save.
The 34-year-old goalkeeper grabbed 29.96 percent of the final votes for Save of the Year, which were done online by the fans. A total of 64 saves were nominated for the award initially and narrowed by fan votes to just four.
Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo came in second with 24.47 percent of the votes, while Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Rickets — who won Goalkeeper of the Year early this week — had 23.28 percent and FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez snagged 22.3 percent of the fan votes.
Aside from the Save of the Year being Rimando’s second consecutive season claiming the victory, he also claimed the Save of the Week award nine times during the 2013 regular season.
In his seventh season with RSL, Rimando sits currently as the Salt Lake club’s longest-tenured player. Rimando manned the net for a total of 2,430 minutes in 27 MLS regular season appearances in the Claret and Cobalt this season. Ahead of Saturday’s MLS Cup, Rimando has also added four postseason appearances and another 390 minutes in the Claret and Cobalt.
Rimando also spent a good chunk of 2013 with the United States Men’s National Soccer Team during World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup action where he grabbed six caps in the stars and stripes.
The RSL veteran goalkeeper will man the net one more time in 2013 for the Claret and Cobalt as it faces MLS Eastern Conference opponent Sporting Kansas City this Saturday, Dec. 7, for the MLS Cup. Kira Terry is a sports writer covering Real Salt Lake for KSL.com. Follow her on Twitter, @kiraterry.