SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando

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Photo by Michael Burns/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Another MLS season, another strong year for Nick Rimando.

Rimando helped guide Real Salt Lake to a strong campaign in 2013, one that many observers thought would be a rebuilding year for the club. Rimando’s timely blocks, veteran leadership, and distribution out of the back all played a big part in Real Salt Lake’s impressive season and it is why the U.S. Men’s National Team member was voted SBI’s MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

In his 27 games this season, the sturdy Rimando posted nine shutouts and made 82 saves. His propensity for game-saving blocks, however, was immeasurable, as was his ability to lead a side that lost centerback Jamison Olave and other key figures during the offseason.

Rimando beat out a field of goalkeepers for the award that included several standouts. Here is a rundown of the runners-up:

DONOVAN RICKETTS

Seemingly from the first week of the campaign, the Portland Timbers goalkeeper demonstrated a knack for jaw-dropping blocks. Another key component of Ricketts’ season was his veteran leadership, which helped guide a Timbers defense that was still coming together under first-year head coach Caleb Porter. The Jamaican international enjoyed a fine year in between the pipes and had the lowest goals against average of any starter in the league, things that should not soon be forgotten.

LUIS ROBLES

After a shaky start to the year in which he committed several costly blunders, Robles redeemed himself with a strong performance in the second half of the campaign that was as good as anyone’s. Robles repeatedly made key stops in eye-opening fashion and prevented the New York Red Bulls from dropping several points. If he had enjoyed this type of showing in the opening half of the year, Robles could have very well won this award.

CLINT IRWIN

As integral to the Colorado Rapids’ success as anyone, Clint Irwin shone in goal for a club that reached the postseason despite a slew of injuries that plagued it throughout the year. Irwin looked nothing like a player in his first season in MLS and more like a grizzled veteran, making timely interventions and demonstrating the kind of quality that should make the 24-year-old goalkeeper the Rapids’ No. 1 for much of the next decade.

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What do you think of SBI’s selection? Agree that Rimando was the top goalkeeper in the league this season? Was Ricketts more deserving?

Share your thoughts below.

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13 Responses to SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando

  1. Eric says:

    TBH am surprised to see that Robles made the shortlist…he was really hit and miss this year.

    FWIW, my top three would be, in order:

    Ricketts
    Rimando
    Irwin

  2. Tony says:

    What? Robles was one of the reasons for NYRBs first title. Questions surrounding him faded after the first third of the season when he came into form. Statistics also show he is one of the top MLS goalkeepers not to mention his numerous PK stops

    • Joe Timbres says:

      Called silverware, not title. No matter how much you wanna grasp at straws, just not gonna be accepted. Better luck, next…..20 years ha!!!! Samos Timbers

    • Eric says:

      Ricketts and Rimando have Robles beat on both save % and goals against average, and their highlight reels are just as impressive as his, if not more so.

  3. nate says:

    Huge Ricketts fan, but Rimando is in another class. His positioning, ball skills, decision-making and snap reflexes are unmatched in MLS.

    • RB says:

      Don’t see how anyone can realistically say that Rimando is in another class as compared to Ricketts. Clearly they both had superb years and are in the same class. (Not a supporter of either of their teams.)

  4. ChrisPr says:

    I agree with Nate. Rimando is amazing, but Ricketts absolutely dominated this year. I think he should get some votes for league MVP, but I wouldn’t say the same for Rimando. Those two are in a totally different league than the other MLS keepers this year though.

  5. sciroccer says:

    I think Nick is the the obvious choice, I think if you were to watch highlights of all the shots taken against keepes this year, n one would dispute this choice. Rimando is amazing!

  6. Matt Rasmussen says:

    I agree with Rimando getting the nod. He’s been in my top three since 2011. My other two top-three are Michael Gspurning and Jimmy Nielsen, despite Gspurning’s red card for handling the ball outside the box in the first leg and Nielsen’s theatrics. That’s just based on me watching games – not on stats or team standings.

    • Eric says:

      I’m an SKC fan and I wouldn’t shortlist Nielsen for the award. He had a spell of really bad form during the summer where he made several errors that cost the team points. He’s still a good keeper, but he wasn’t lights out like he was in 2012 when he won the award.

  7. Ian says:

    Well deserved win for Nick. I imagine it was a tough decision between him and Ricketts; both were stellar, but Rimando’s positional awareness trumps all.

    By the way, 2014 GK of the Year goes to Jaime Penedo. Mark your calendars!

  8. Shane says:

    Great choice

  9. Adrian. says:

    Showed again tonight why.