Nick Rimando, an American goalkeeper for the U.S. national team, has played professional soccer in the U.S. for the last 14 years. He was named the MLS Most Valuable Player in 2009 and an MLS All-Star in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The talented goalkeeper is one of three on the U.S. World Cup team this year.
Here’s what you need to know about Rimando:
1. It’s Rimando’s First World Cup
This is the first year in his 14-year career that Rimando has earned a spot on the U.S. World Cup team. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Rimando watched the U.S. Team in Las Vegas as they played in Cape Town in 2010, and if it wasn’t for coach Jurgen Klinsmann offering him as many call ups as he did, he may not have realized his World Cup dreams.
2. He Played College Soccer at UCLA
— Scenes from College (@CollegeScenes) May 22, 2014
Before turning pro, Rimando played goalkeeper for UCLA. Rimando, a native of Montclair, California, turned pro in 2000 after signing a Project-40 contract with MLS. The Project-40 program, now known as Generation Adidas, tries to elevate the talent in U.S. soccer by encouraging young players to enter MLS without graduating college. The players are typically paid a higher salary than entry-level MLS players who don’t go through the program and if their pro career is cut short, they’re given scholarship money so they can return to college.
3. His Current Club is Real Salt Lake
Rimando has played for Real Salt Lake since 2007. He first played for the Miami Fusion, which was contracted after the 2001 season. From there, Rimando was traded to D.C. United and then to Real Salt Lake.
Rimando has proved to be a fantastic goalkeeper for Real Salt Lake. In 2010, he set an MLS goal for fewest goals allowed in a season, just 20 in a 30-game season. He registered nine shutouts during the 2013 season and earned the 2013 MLS Save of the Year award.
4. He’s a Family Man
In 2005, Rimando married long-time girlfriend and fellow soccer player Jacqui Little. Little was a member of the now-defunct Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) and played for the Washington Freedom. Their wedding ceremony was officiated by Rimando’s teammate, Ben Olsen.
Little and Rimando have two little ones, Jett Nicholas Rimando and Benny Rose Rimando. Rimando’s Instagram is filled of photos of his biggest (and littlest) fans. Here are some of the photos you need to see:
5. There’s a Beer Named After Him
— Ryan (@rydiculousness) March 16, 2014
Unsacred Brewing, a craft beer brewery in Salt Lake City, named a beer after Rimando after learning he’s a fan of Wit-style beers, or Belgian-style wheat beers. David Cole, one of Unsacred’s owners, said the goal is to sell the beer at stadiums where Rimando plays.
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