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Longtime USMNT and RSL goalkeeper Rimando announces retirement after 2019 season

02:20 GMT+4 02/03/2019
Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake MLS 2018
The veteran, who holds multiple MLS records, will hang up his gloves after his 20th season

Veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando has announced he will retire at the end of the 2019 Major League Soccer season.

The 39-year-old, who will turn 40 in June, is set to start the season as Real Salt Lake’s No.1.

It is a position he has held for well over a decade, after arriving at RSL in 2007, becoming MLS’ all-time win leader in the process.

And now Rimando has said no matter what, his 20th season, all in MLS, will be his final one.

“My 20th season will be my last,” Rimando wrote in a statement published to Twitter. “It’s time for me to step away and start my next adventure.

“This game has given me so much that it’s hard to put into words what this announcement means to me as I reflect on all the people and that have helped me reach this point.

“I’m truly grateful for how long I’ve played. Thank you to my family, my kids, Jett and Benny, my rock Randi, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans, UCLA, US Soccer, Nike, Major League Soccer, Miami Fusion, D.C. United and Real Salt Lake.

“As always, I look forward to competing and giving all I can to the club and RSL’s supporters, let’s make this final go around the most memorable.”

A draft pick of the Miami Fusion out of UCLA in 2000, Rimando started 47 games for the team over two years before it was contracted. Taken by D.C. United in the allocation draft in 2002, he would win the MLS Cup with the team in 2004, starting four games in that season’s MLS playoffs.

But it was at RSL where Rimando would become a club icon, arriving in 2007 and forming a core trio of the team alongside Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales.

RSL would make the playoffs for seven straight seasons and win the 2009 MLS Cup, emerging triumphant in both the conference final and MLS Cup through penalty shootouts. Rimando made three saves in each shootout to lead his team to the trophy.

Rimando’s career has seen him rack up over 200 wins – the most in MLS history, along with the clean sheets, minutes played, saves, and games started.

The veteran has also been a long-time member of the United States’ national team, though his position as third-choice goalkeeper saw him receive only 22 caps for the USMNT.

Rimando becomes the second big former USMNT goalkeeper to announce he will hang up his gloves at the end of the season, following Tim Howard, who will finish out his distinguished career with the Colorado Rapids.

Rimando and RSL will begin the season on the road in Houston to face the Dynamo on Saturday.