Tag Archive | "Nick Rimando"

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RSL Hold Sounders 0-0 in Seattle

Posted on 03 November 2012 by Kyle Alm

Real Salt Lake all but wrapped up the #2 seed in the Western Conference when they held Sounders to a 0-0. Zach Scott had been sent off early in the match and Sounders were able to hold off for a 0-0 draw. Salt Lake and Seattle have had a burgeoning rivalry that is comparable to either of their Cascadia Cup opponents, the largest difference being that RSL and Seattle have played more meaningful matches against each other rather than geographic proximity.

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Michael Gspurning came off of his line to make a sliding tackle on Ned Grabavoy right at the edge of the box on a through ball from midfield. Nick Rimando was also active early making a save on Brad Evans, after the Sounders midfielder made a clever timed run to get in behind the defense. Rimando came up big twice to keep his sheet clean in the 33rd minute on consecutive. Sammy Ochoa worked very hard to get his header, pushing on Chris Wingert with both hands to get into position. Ochoa’s header was saved for a corner that Jhon Kennedy Hurtado would put on frame with a ducking header was met by a more spectacular save by Rimando than the last moments before.

Jeff Parke was issued a yellow card for a foul on Espindola right before the halftime whistle blew. Espindola would not return for the second half with a hamstring injury.

Sammy Ochoa, filling in for Eddie Johnson as Fredy Montero’s strike partner, had his best opportunity to score on a cross from Brad Evans in the 57th minute. Ochoa sent the ball sailing, and Sigi Schmid called immediately for his replacement, David Estrada.

The most dramatic moment of the match came in the 67th minute when Christiam Tiffert and Nick Rimando collided in the penalty area when Rimando was coming out for the ball. The RSL goalkeeper covered his face and kicking at the ground in agony. The match would be suspended for no less than 8 minutes while Rimando received treatment to stop the bleeding above his eye. There was a confused group of fans who were heckling Rimando during this time although he was clearly receiving necessary treatment.

Sounders attack in the second half was predictable, speculative, and ultimately impotent against Nick Rimando, who continued his brilliant performance despite his injury and swelling around his eye. Rimando read and picked out crosses and continued to show excellent reflexes and reaction saves. In addition to David Estrada, Mario Martinez (82nd minute for Tiffert) and Steve Zakuani (90th+4 for Mauro Rosales) were brought on to bolster the Sounders attack, with little to no effect.

RSL did not show much offensive firepower either, and Gspurning didn’t have nearly as much to do as his counterpart. Alvaro Saborio, recently returned from injury, did not appear himself tonight. Kyle Beckerman did not appear in the stat sheet much, but was effective in controlling the midfield and distributing the ball to keep his side organized. Javier Morales also had a relatively quiet night.

There was some extra time scuffling involving Osvaldo Alonso and some RSL players and even some staff from the look of things. If this is a burgeoning rivalry it blossomed tonight, the return leg, with so much at stake should be quite an exciting affair. Eddie Johnson should be back from his hamstring injury. Fabian Espindola’s hamstring is a question mark as of post-match, his availability is unknown at this point.

The way these two sides have played against each other, and other teams, have not yielded many goals for either side. Although RSL have shown several times that they can come to Seattle and get results, the advantage of playing at home for the return leg, and potential shootout, is clear.

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RSL Cements Second Place in Seattle

Posted on 18 October 2012 by Kyle Alm

Real Salt Lake came to Seattle three points ahead of Sounders in the Western Conference standings. Sounders, with a game in hand, were looking to usurp their rivals with a win and draw even in the standings.

© Jane Gershovich & American Soccer News

A day removed from a return stint with the US Men’s National Team, Eddie Johnson found himself on a private charter with Nick Rimando & Kyle Beckerman on the way to Seattle. Eddie Johnson played 90 minutes in both World Cup Qualifying matches and was quite productive offensively, scoring 2 goals against Antigua Barbados & getting an assist against Guatemala. Rimando and Beckerman did not see time on the pitch for the US and although it was unlikely that Johnson would play, it was a much appreciated gesture between these two rival sides.

Zach Scott would pick up a seemingly inocuous yellow card in the 10th minute for a foul on Fabian Espindola. Scott, filling in at center back for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, has a bit of a reputation as a rough defender, getting a caution is not out of the ordinary for him. Scott would only remain on the pitch for another 20 minutes. Javier Morales was fouled by the Sounder stalwart and promptly sent off by Ricardo Salazar for his second caution.

Sounders had started a duo of Fredy Montero & Sammy Ochoa at forward, Eddie Johnson was not available after his stint with the US Men’s National Team. Ochoa was the player who made way for an additional defender after Scott had been sent off. Sounders already had a makeshift lineup to start the match; Zach Scott was an outside back playing in, Brad Evans was filling in for Scott on the outside, Marc Burch & Jeff Parke were the only defenders in their usual positions. Andy Rose dropped into the center back role until the substition for Ochoa was made. Michael Seamon would finish the match at outside back.

At the end of the first half Montero hit a shot that looked like it hit the outstretched arm of Tony Beltran. Replays would later show that Beltran had his arm next to the body and that Salazar had gotten the call correct. RSL head coach Jason Kreis had this to say about appeals for a penalty, “what lead to that play was Montero pushing on Olave, I don’t think Seattle is the only one that can make complaints about the calls tonight.”

It is certainly a truism that a team with 10 men is likely to lose to an 11 man team and on an extended timeline keeping possession and creating scoring chances will lead to goals in a probabilistic view. In reality it is still not easy to break a team down defensively. On paper you can see that RSL did dominate possession and scoring chances and had chances late to take all three points in Seattle were it not for the herculean efforts of Michael Gspurning. Two of those saves coming in impressive fashion in stoppage time.

For RSL getting a point on the road in Seattle is no smalll feat, especially considering the place in the table. However in the end they recognize that it was a match they had the upper hand throughout and still failed to win.

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MLS SuperDraft for the Union: A look at just the number

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Breton Bonnette

The Philadelphia Union will add another crop of young studs into the family tomorrow as the 2012 MLS SuperDraft takes place in Kansas City. With only two drafts under their belt, you’d have to say that Nowak and Hackworth have one of the best track records (though short as it is) in Major League Soccer when it comes to the SuperDraft. Six of their nine draft picks have earned significant minutes in 2010 and 2011 and look poised to make up the core for seasons to come.

Here’s a quick look at the history of the draft picks that the Union currently hold for the 2012 SuperDraft: #13, #32, and #35…

The #13 Spot

Best Picks: Stefan Frei (GK – Toronto FC), Pablo Mastroeni (DF/MF – Miami)

Frei has done enough over the years to earn much warranted interest from abroad. Started for the Reds right off the bat in 2009, earning praise even with a suspect defense in front of him. Milos Kocic and rumors that Frei is looking elsewhere could see the Swiss keeper moving onward. The past two season, however, have shown that he is one of the better goalkeepers in the league and one to watch out for in the future wherever he ends up.

Mastroeni needs no introduction. Taken by Miami in 1998, he has registered over 300 appearances in Major League Soccer with the Fusion and the Colorado Rapids. Though he’s 35 years old, Mastroeni was a main force in the Rapids winning an MLS Cup in 2010. His hard-nosed tackling and work rate earned him 65 caps for the US Men’s National Team (2 Gold Cup Championships, 2 World Cup rosters).

Decent Picks: Arturo Alvarez (MF – San Jose), Josh Gardner (MF – Los Angeles), Jed Zayner (Columbus), Rodrigo Faria (Metrostars), Seth George (FW – Los Angeles),

Faria was a flash in the pan, winning Rookie of the Year honors for the Metrostars in 2001. Scored eight goals in his rookie campaign and 12 in his sophomore before the Metrostars’ move for coach Bob Bradley sent him to Chicago. Rarely heard from after that with Chicago and San Jose. Arturo Alvarez, now with Chivas USA after the 2011 Re-Entry Draft, can play the role of catalyst with great technical skills but still operates on an inconsistent basis. He has played well enough in MLS, however, to earn a role with the El Salvadorian national team. Gardner was a stud in the USL after a failed stint with Los Angeles. His time in USL pushed him back onto a Major League Soccer team with the Crew where he enjoyed a breakout year. He wasn’t protected and will start the 2012 season with the expansion Montreal Impact. Jed Zayner has an MLS Cup to his name and has played the role of stop-gap starter well. He is now a free agent.

Remains to be Seen: Corben Bone (MF – Chicago), Corey Hertzog (FW – Red Bull New York)

Drafted to 2010, Bone has come by 15 appearances for the Fire but has yet to really crack their starting XI. Hertzog sits behind Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry on the depth chart in New York – he’ll have late appearances and the occasional Open Cup to prove his worth.

Duds: John Michael Hayden (Houston), Jamie Watson (RSL), Rob Valentino (New England), Neibles (Los Angeles), Smith (Columbus), Brownell (San Jose)

Given his youth national team pedigree, Watson underperformed in Major League Soccer but still was appreciated for his tenacity and work rate. He has found a home in USL-Pro with Orlando City. Still managed over 35 caps with Real Salt Lake in their early years.   

The #32 Spot

Best Pick: Luke Sassano (MF/DF- Red Bull New York)

Now with Kansas City, Sassano played an important role at one time for the Red Bulls helping them out in 2008 with his versatility (fullback, defensive midfielder). He found his way to Kansas City via the first ever Re-Entry Draft (through Los Angeles) but has yet to break into the first team there  (though he did register his first MLS goal in 2011).

Decent Picks: Quincy Amarikwa (FW – San Jose), Jay Needham (DF – DC United)

Decent picks meaning they picked mid-level quality but other teams were the ones who eventually discovered it. Amarikwa now comes off the bench in Colorado. Needham was the 2007 USL-1 Rookie of the Year for Puerto Rico before heading to Norway to feature for Alta no less than 50 times.

Duds: JT Murray (SKC), Davis (RSL), Schmid (Houston), K.Arena (Metros), Sutton (Columbus), Klaas (San Jose), Lee (Colorado), Peart (Kansas City), Meyer (Colorado), Sanchez (Kansas City)

The #35 Spot

Best Picks: Nick Rimando (GK – Miami), Nick LaBrocca (MF – Colorado), Gonzalo Segares (DF – Chicago)

Pretty solid picks for the #35 spot. Rimando won over the starting spot in Miami before the franchise folded. He landed in DC and then with Real Salt Lake in their expansion year. The rest is history – 2 MLS Cups, national team call-ups, Rimando is seen as one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer. LaBrocca (Rutgers) didn’t have his breakout year with the Rapids, though he featured over 60 times in their set-up. It wasn’t until 2011 that LaBrocca put things together ending the season an All-Star and notching 8 goals for the campaign. Segares, despite a brief test of the European waters in Cyprus, is Chicago through and through. He has been their rock at left back for some time and has earned 19 caps for the Costa Rican national team.

Could’ve Been the Best Pick: Rob Friend (FW – Chicago)

Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga goal scorer that went to UC-Santa Barbara. The Fire drafted him in the fourth round in 2003 only to see him opt to play in Norway. It turned out to be the best thing for him as Friend grew to become one of the best strikers in Norway (playing for Moss then Molde). His play landed him a role in the Eredivisie with Michael Bradley’s former club Heerenveen before the 6’5″ Canadian giant found a permanent home in Germany with (yet another Michael Bradley club) Borussia Monchengladbach. He finished runner-up on the scoring charts in the 2.Bundesliga as Gladbach were promoted to the Bundesliga. Scored 10 goals in the top flight before returning to the 2.Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt (Rico Clark’s squad).

Duds: Stafford (KCW), Lapira (Toronto FC), Tangney (Chivas USA), Campbell (FCD), Christensen (Chivas USA), Nusum (Columbus), Brown (New England), Richards (Colorado), Lewis (Dallas), Brown (Colorado)

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ASN’s Best XI, Week 1: Goalkeeper takes first Player of the Week honors

Posted on 22 March 2011 by Breton Bonnette

It was a goal-filled opening weekend to the 2011 Major League Soccer season and numerous impressive debuts. All three forwards named to the ASN Best XI hit for a brace, pushing other worthy candidates out of the XI. In the end, however, it was a veteran goalkeeper, well accustomed to the jitters and excitement of the start of a new season, that took away Player of the Week honors. We’ll be putting these together all season (with as little Union bias as possible) so you can keep track of who to watch out for in MLS.

GK: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) – *ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK*

ASN Philly’s Player of the Week for sure and Real Salt Lake fans would definitely agree. In almost every match report, it was Rimando’s play that allowed for RSL to walk away with their first three points of the season in a 1-0 shutout of San Jose. The Earthquakes pressed, unleashing a barrage in the last 15 minutes, but couldn’t beat the veteran keeper (although Chris Wondolowski helped, missing a sitter or two).

DEF: Zach Loyd (FC Dallas)

Loyd was a presence on both the offensive and defensive ends, especially as the Hoops were forced to bunker down after Brek Shea was ejected. Loyd provided a great feed to goalscorer Milton Rodriguez, one of several impressive crosses that the second year player out of UNC dished out on the day. Also had a goal disallowed in the 10th minute. Starting in place of a suspended Jair Benitez, Loyd may have made a case for a permanent starting spot on the left side.

DEF: Danny Califf (Philadelphia)

Last year’s captain showed no signs of indignation or dejection at his “demotion” and Faryd Mondragon’s ascension to the captaincy.  Showing his belief that the team comes first, Califf not  only scored his first goal as a member of the Union in just the season’s 5th minute, but played as solid a game at the back as we’ve seen from any defender since the Philadelphia side’s inception.  The goal itself was a product of chance as well as opportunity, with Califf cleaning up a loose ball at the goal mouth after Sebastien Le Toux’s strike clanged off the crossbar.  More important, however, was Danny’s multiple blocked shots and important clearances.  His performance in the opener went a long way towards showing that there is room for more than one leader on the pitch and in the locker room. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

DEF: Jan Gunnar Solli (RBNY)

Solli was impressive in his debut – as Red Bulls fans expected him to be – making key runs on the wing. Nursing a hamstring strain, the Norwegian vet had no desire to sit out in the Red Bulls home opener and his play at right back bolstered a decent performance from New York as they handed Seattle their second loss of the week.

MID: Marcos Mondaini (Chivas USA)

Club owner Jorge Vergara was in the crowd and he wasn’t too pleased with the scoreline but the Argentine winger and Boca Juniors youth product certainly showed in his debut that he was going to play a big role in Robin Fraser’s re-tooled 2011 lineup. Mondaini kept the left flank open for traffic most of the game even as Sporting KC had their way with the Goats’ backline, winning 3-2.

MID: Teemu Tainio (RBNY)

Tainio and Lindpere could wind up being a dangerous duo in the midfield for the Red Bulls this season. Tainio, according to OptaStats, completed 88% of his passes and provided the long assist that led to Juan Agudelo’s gamewinner. Agudelo had to finish up the gamewinner but it was Tainio that switched things up (short passing in a cluttered midfield) and had the vision/precision to hit the long ball.

MID: Juninho (Los Angeles)

The Galaxy as a whole didn’t look much like their 2010 counterparts but Brazilian midfielder Juninho at least made sure they came out of their first week of the new season with four points. Two rockets for two goals should give him a couple nominations for Goal of the Week and steady play in the midfield, some key tackles, and a tireless work ethic were an added bonus.

MID: Davide Chiumento (Vancouver)

Possibly the best player on the pitch in the Canadian clash between Vancouver and Toronto FC. Made several pinpoint passes that if consistent throughout games this season, Chiumento should find himself on this list many times. Part of a Swiss duo that also includes defender Alain Rochat. Many are already predicting Chiumento to wind up as one of the top newcomers of the 2011 season.

FWD: Eric Hassli (Vancouver)

His DP status was questioned but the big French striker didn’t take long to cement himself in Whitecaps history. Hassli scored the first goal in ‘Caps Major League Soccer history and added another for good measure to help secure a 4-2 win over Canadian rivals Toronto FC. The question for all ‘Caps fans will surely be – can he keep it going?

FWD: Charlie Davies (DC United)

After 17 months and a brush with death, Davies is back doing the Stanky Leg. In fact, United fans should have had to pay extra – they got to see the Stanky Leg show twice. Dubbed the “best night of his life”, Davies registered a two-goal return to first-tier soccer. His post-match quote says it all: “You couldn’t even write a book about this. I mean, everything I’ve gone through, to come out and score two goals on the debut, after a year and a half of waiting …. It’s overwhelming.”

FWD: Omar Bravo (Sporting KC)

This week’s Major League Soccer “Player of the Week” misses out on the American Soccer News honor of the same name but that doesn’t mean his performance wasn’t less impressive. It’s fitting that it was Bravo that spoiled the home opener of the sister club to his former team, Chivas de Guadalajara, as he netted a crafty brace in what probably was one of the better DP debuts of recent history.

Bench: Greg Sutton (RBNY), Carlos Valdes (PHL), Juan Agudelo (RBNY), Dax McCarty (DCU), Jay DeMerit (VAN), Kei Kamara (KC), Omar Cummings (COL), Faryd Mondragon (PHL), Josip Mikulic (CHI)

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Crew battle Salt Lake in C-Bus

Posted on 21 August 2008 by Jim Baird

When Columbus takes on Real Salt Lake, this Saturday in Crew Stadium, it will be a match-up of two of the biggest surprises in the MLS this season. Last year the Crew finished sixth out of seven teams in the East; Real Salt Lake finished dead last in the six team West.

Currently, the Crew sit at second place overall in the East, trailing first place New England by a mere two points. Real Salt Lake sits at Second in the West, five points back of the defending champion Houston Dynamo.

Success for Salt Lake this year has been due in part to their defense. The club has allowed 24 goals this season, third fewest in the MLS. But keeper Nick Rimando may have his work cut out for him against Columbus’s high powered attack. Lead by Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s league leading 12 assists, Columbus enters as the MLS’s third highest scoring offense with 31 goals.

The Crew bring a formidable 6-2-2 home record into the match, and with Real Salt Lake’s road struggles, 1-7-1 this season, the Rockies club will face a stern test to claim points.

Game Notes:

Kickoff: 7:30 EST

TV: CSN, DK, MLSLive.tv

Radio: 610 AM WTVN (Columbus)

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