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Rimando, USA soccer team roll into town

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and the USA soccer team worked out at Rio Tinto Stadium Thursday night getting ready for Tuesday's World Cup qualifying match against Honduras.
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Nick Rimando knows he probably won't play for Team USA's World Cup qualifying match Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium against Honduras. But, the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper is thrilled to be back on soccer's biggest stage.

"I expect a great crowd and a fantastic game," Rimando said. "Our team is very confident right now the way we've been playing. I'm just waiting to get out here, see the fans and be in my home stadium. I'm really excited."

Rimando is the backup goalkeeper behind starter Tim Howard for the United States, which is 3-1-1 in World Cup qualifiers. At 33, Rimando knows this is his last chance to play for a World Cup team.

"I've been in and out of the national team pool for a while now," he said. "To be a part of this group, probably my last run, I'm taking everything in."

Rimando is proof that you don't have to play overseas to be considered a soccer star anymore. True, the best players like Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and DeMarcus Beasley play in other countries, 10 of the 30 players on the U.S. World Cup team play in Major League Soccer.

"Now that we have MLS guys making an impact, it definitely speaks volumes for this league and how it's growing," said Omar Gonzalez, a defender for the L.A. Galaxy and Team USA. 

"MLS is a good league," said defender Matt Besler, who plays for Sporting Kansas City. "But, I don't think anyone else is saying it's a bad league. I think no matter what league you play in, [USA head coach] Jurgen [Klinsnmann] believes in the players that he brings in."

Team USA will be trying to avenge its only loss in World Cup qualfying Tuesday night when they take on Honduras for the second time. But having won back-to-back games against Jamaica and Panama, the U.S. is flying high.

The team is also counting on a sold out raucous crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"I've been here plenty of times and the crowd here at Rio Tinto is always great," said Gonzalez. 

"We expect a great atmosphere, very pro-American," added Besler. "I've played here three or four times and it's a very tough place to come in and win. It gets loud, the altitude plays a little bit of a factor, but we'll be ready for that."

Plus, it's an added bonus for the MLS players to experience the good side of playing at Rio Tinto -- being cheered for.

"Ya, it would be nice from that perspective," Besler said. "To be cheered for instead of booed against here."
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