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Rimando excels at stopping penalty kicks

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando is Major League Soccer's all-time leader in penalty kick saves.
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - It's one of the most difficult things to do in soccer -- stopping a penalty kick. Twelve yards is all that stands in the way between the goalkeeper and his opponent. Fortunately for Real Salt Lake, Nick Rimando is the best in the business.

Rimando extended his MLS record to 19 penalty kick saves Wednesday night in the 92nd minute against New England to preserve RSL's 2-1 victory over the Revolution.

"I just think there are certain individuals out there who perform at the biggest moments," head coach Jason Kreis said after the game. "Nick is probably playing the best that I've ever seen him play. Says a lot for his age and where he's at in his career. But, he's looking incredibly confident right now and incredibly positive and he's been a huge contributor to every result we've had.”

"The one thing that is going through my mind is how much Jason has been stressing about getting two victories in a row and how we almost slipped it away with a penalty kick at the end of the game," Rimando said. "I am trying to help my team out as much as I can and lucky for me [Saer] Sene helped me I think on the save on that one. But you know a save is a save and we’ll take the three points.”

In 2012, the MLS average for penalty kick conversions was almost 80 percent. Rimando has allowed goals only 68 percent of the time (41 of 60), which is a big reason why he is just the second keeper in MLS history to record over 100 shutouts.

Rimando took special joy in stopping Saer Sene's shot Wednesday night, because it gave RSL a much-needed three points on the road headed into Saturday's match at Montreal.

“It is huge for us because we wanted to come out and start really well," Rimando said. "This is a team we think we can beat and we matched up good against. It wasn’t the prettiest soccer the whole game. But I think getting these three points on this three game road stint is huge for us. To getting a rhythm going, some confidence and we are going to a very hard place now and trying to get a result there.”

Real Salt Lake and Montreal will kick off at noon Saturday on CW30.


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