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Archive for the ‘Real Salt Lake’ Category

Nick Rimando did it again.

The Real Salt Lake goalkeeper stopped two penalty kicks and benefited from a stunning Landon Donovan PK miss to claim the Major League Soccer title for his squad. I said Monday it might play out like this on PKs, and sure enough, it did. How much of it was Rimando, and how much was it due to Jovan Kirovski and Edson Buddle simply choking? Of everyone who stepped up to take their kicks, there were only two I looked at and said out loud, “He’s going to miss.” That was Buddle and Kirovski. How many of you did the same thing? Buddle looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but on that penalty spot. And Kirovski, who has been 12 for 12 on PKs previously? Big spot, big game, not a big game player. Rimando stopped them both. (He also guessed right on Berhalter’s kick, but Berhalter hit it perfectly.)

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Nick Rimando’s most amazing feat wasn’t that he stopped three penalty kicks to send Real Salt Lake to the MLS Cup.

It was that the RSL goalkeeper “guessed” right on six of seven shots.

Rimando reads penalty kicks so well that it’s clearly not guesswork for him. He went the right way on all but one Saturday night, even if he couldn’t get a hand on each. That ability could decide this Sunday’s championship match against the Los Angeles Galaxy and affect the pace of the game.

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