Rimando made eight saves in a driving rain while shutting out the host San Jose Earthquakes in the clubs’ March 19 season opener, and was credited with two saves while facing 10 shots from the LA Galaxy in a 4-1 RSL victory on March 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Although Player of the Month voting primarily is based on league play, Rimando also put forth notable performances in helping Real Salt Lake advance in the CONCACAF Champions League with a quarterfinal second leg victory over the Columbus Crew (4-1 on March 1) and in shutting out Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa, 2-0, in the first leg of the tournament’s semifinal.
In the second leg this Tuesday night in San Jose, Costa Rica, Real Salt Lake have the chance to become the first MLS team since the LA Galaxy in 2000 to advance to the final of the regional competition, the winner of which qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup this December in Japan.
In winning the first Player of the Month award in 2011, Rimando edged out teammate Javier Morales, while D.C. United striker Charlie Davies finished third in the voting.
The MLS Player of the Month is selected upon the conclusion of each month of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information on the organization and its membership can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.