SANDY — On the eve of the 2019 season opener, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a major announcement: the season will be his last in professional soccer.
The veteran goalkeeper, who will turn 40 in June, made the announcement via Twitter.
“My 20th season will be my last,” Rimando wrote. “It’s time for me to step away and start my next adventure. This game has given me so much that it’s hard to put in words what this announcement means to me as I reflect on all the point and moments that have helped me reach this point.
“I’m truly grateful for how long I’ve played.”
In 2018, Real Salt Lake re-signed Rimando to a multi-year contract extension, the same year they also re-signed fellow veteran and close friend Kyle Beckerman.
The veteran goalkeeper who owns every major goalkeeping record in Major League Soccer went on to thank his family, friends, teammates, coaches and support staff during a decade career that spanned two decades.
Rimando was selected No. 35 overall in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft by the now-defunct Miami Fusion, where he quickly took the starting position from Jeff Cassar — his future head coach at Salt Lake.
When the Fusion contracted following the 2001 season, Rimando was allocated to D.C. United, where he made 98 appearances in the goal through 2006.
The 2007 season marked a move to Real Salt Lake in a trade that included teenage wunderkind Freddy Adu, and Rimando quickly became the successor to then-starting goalkeeper Scott Garlick, who was retiring.
Rimando helped RSL win the MLS Cup title in 2009, and earned a way into the U.s. men’s national team goalkeeping pool, a position he kept alongside international standouts like Tim Howard — who announced earlier this year that 2019 will also be his last in pro soccer, now with the Colorado Rapids.
Rimando owns MLS records for fewest goals allowed in a single season, as well as the all-time league records in saves and shutouts.
In 20 years, he’s compiled 1,630 saves, 144 shutouts, 594 goals allowed.
Real Salt Lake opens the 2019 season Saturday at 4 p.m. MST at Houston. The game will be streamed live on KSL.com.