On a night when Real Salt Lake lost in the MLS Cup final and ended a fourth consecutive season without a trophy, club captain Kyle Beckerman singled out one teammate who he felt deserved more: goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
The U.S. national team member made four saves during the course of the game, helping to force the final into a shootout after 120 minutes ended with the score at 1-1. He then made a vital stop on Matt Belser's spot kick after Kansas City had jumped out to a 2-0 advantage, but was helpless as teammate Lovel Palmer's effort rebounded off the crossbar in the tenth round to hand Kansas City the title.
“We feel we've got the best goalkeeper in the league in regular time and even moreso in the penalties," said Beckerman, who converted his shootout penalty.
"It was there for us. He did his job. And we just didn't finish it for him.”
Rimando was expectedly disappointed with the result, especially losing on a shootout, an area where he's regarded as something of a specialist. Besides the save against Besler, Sporting players Lawrence Olum and Graham Zusi missed the target altogether trying to beat him.
“It's tough losing in PKs," he said. "Especially for a goalkeeper, because me personally, I think I can save them and I want to save them. It didn't happen this time. PKs is a very bad way to lose but it's also a good way to win for those guys.”