Five days after being blind-sided by Scott Garlick's retirement, which left the team without a true No. 1 keeper with opening day just more than a month away, Real Salt Lake got the resolution it was hoping for Friday.
RSL capped its whirlwind week by reacquiring Nick Rimando, whom they traded to the New York Red Bulls two weeks ago after acquiring him from D.C. United in the Freddy Adu trade. If it all sounds confusing, it's because it is.
Rimando is expected to arrive in Salt Lake City today, just in time to join RSL before it heads to Madrid, Spain, for two weeks of training camp on Monday.
"Right now, we're relieved, and happy to be in Salt Lake," said Rimando, whose wife's sister lives in Utah. "That was our first choice if leaving D.C. There's a few things that happened between now and then that's helped get us there."
When it originally traded for Rimando, Salt Lake wanted to keep the 27-year-old, but there simply wasn't room under the salary cap for two six-figure goalies. Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself to send Rimando to New York for a 2009 fourth-round supplemental draft pick, coach John Ellinger jumped at the chance.
Who knew that two weeks later Garlick would retire, leaving RSL with three keepers with no MLS experience?
"I just felt that not having any MLS experience going into opening day probably wasn't a good thing," said Ellinger.
Ironically enough, when Garlick informed Ellinger he was retiring on Sunday, Real played an exhibition in Orlando that same night against New York. Ellinger didn't waste any time speaking with New York coach Bruce Arena after the game about trying to get Rimando back.
To get him, Real returned New York its 2009 pick, in addition to a 2008 fourth-round SuperDraft pick, which was originally Chivas' pick.
"We think the world of Nick, and he's won championships," said Ellinger. "We're sorry to see Scott go, but we know Nick can do the job."
Rimando is a seven-year MLS veteran, having spent two years with Miami and five years with D.C. United. He only started twice last year after losing his job to Troy Perkins following an injury in the offseason. He's excited about the prospects of being a No. 1 again.
"I'm going out there to play my game. I'm 27 years old. I'm still a young goalkeeper and have played seven years and started the majority of them," said Rimando, whose career goals-against average is 1.32. "I'm 100 percent, I know Peter (Mellor) and John think I have a lot to offer, and I'm going out there to be the No. 1."
Rimando will likely start over rookie Chris Seitz, the 20-year-old keeper RSL drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in the January SuperDraft. Kyle Reynish will be the team's No. 3 goalkeeper after the club released Chase Harrison on Friday to make room for Rimando.
ENDLINES: Ellinger also confirmed Friday that midfielder Andy Williams is officially signed.