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Goalkeeper can be a lonely position.
And, at least when it comes to Major League Soccer's all-time wins record, that's exactly how Nick Rimando would prefer it.
On Sunday night in Philadelphia, the Real Salt Lake goalie notched his 180th victory in net, tying the former longtime Galaxy keeper Kevin Hartman for the most in league history.
But Rimando's not quite satisfied yet.
"I'm tied with it," he said after Salt Lake's 2-1 win over the Union. "I want to have it all to myself."
Over his 16 years in professional soccer, Rimando has racked up all manner of accolades. He has been named a MLS all-star in seven consecutive seasons and lifted the league's trophy with RSL in 2009. With the United States, he has won a Gold Cup and earned a spot on a World Cup roster. He owns Major League Soccer's records for shutouts (126) and on Sunday he made his 412th career start in goal, overtaking Hartman in that category while matching him in total wins.
"It's just a testament to his hard work and being a great goalkeeper," RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said. "I don't know what other records he has to break, but I'd guess he'll get it."
To reach his latest record, Rimando needed to provide some late heroics Sunday night. Philadelphia went up 1-0 in the first half after RSL center back Aaron Maund was whistled for a foul in the box and Rimando perhaps the best penalty stopper in league history couldn't reach Roland Alberg's shot to the left corner of the net.
But after goals from Joao Plata and Javier Morales put Salt Lake up 2-1 in the second half, Rimando and the RSL defense did what was necessary to preserve a historic win.
In the 89th minute, Rimando punched away a free kick that was swinging into the box and then made a diving save and a kick save in quick succession to keep the one-goal advantage.
"It's a big accomplishment, I think. But it's not just my night," Rimando said. "I hold [the record] with a lot of players and defenders that I have played with over the years."
And, even at age 37, Rimando isn't done adding to his legacy's résumé. He'll be looking to move alone into MLS history Wednesday when RSL (9-6-7, 34 points) travels to Canada to take on Toronto FC (8-7-6, 30 points).
"This year, I wouldn't say I focused on it, but it was so close that I wanted to have it," Rimando said of the record. "I want to have those records and put my name on those sheets. It's nothing personal, just something that I want to get to and it's so close that I believe I can get there, especially with the team in front of me."
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RSL at Toronto
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