United-Real Salt Lake Preview


Nick Rimando earned a chunk of his MLS record-tying 112 career shutouts with D.C. United before winning a championship and becoming one of the league's top goalkeepers with Real Salt Lake.

Fabian Espindola was a part of that RSL squad that won the 2009 MLS Cup before landing with D.C. this season and becoming its leading scorer despite battling an injury.

Rimando looks to take sole possession of the league record at home Saturday night while beating his former team, which will have Espindola on the gameday roster for the first time in nearly two months.

Last Saturday's 1-0 victory over Colorado tied Rimando with Kevin Hartman for the shutout mark, though Rimando accomplished the feat in 56 fewer matches. It was his first clean sheet in nine games since blanking Dallas on May 24 and left Real Salt Lake (9-4-9) at 2-0-2 in its last four contests.

Rimando recorded 29 shutouts in 98 matches for D.C. from 2002-06.

"It's good to get that monkey off my back and move forward with the season," Rimando said. "Whenever you get three points on the road, especially with the circumstances, it feels great."

RSL, two points back of Seattle for first place in the Western Conference, played with 10 men after Aaron Maund was given a red card in the 46th minute. Chris Wingert received a yellow card and will be suspended for this match due to accumulation.

Rimando played the first half of the MLS All-Stars' 2-1 win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, though he wasn't joined by RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, who injured his foot in last Saturday's match.

It's uncertain if Beckerman will be able to play against United, which had its four-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's 1-0 loss to Houston. The defeat also was the sixth straight match without Espindola after he suffered a sprained left MCL against Montreal on June 11.

Espindola, who leads D.C. (11-6-4) with seven goals and eight assists, won't start against Real Salt Lake but will be available to play. He spent his first six MLS seasons with RSL from 2007-12, recording a career-best 10 goals in 2011.

"I'm excited," Espindola told United's official website. "I just want to play and get game rhythm. I don't think I'll go out and play like I was playing before right away. It will take a little bit of time, but it will come."

D.C. went 4-2-0 without Espindola and sits two points behind Sporting Kansas City for first place in the East.

"It was fun to watch," Espindola said. "The team is doing great. Unlucky game the other day, but besides that, we're doing great."

United received some bad news Tuesday, though, as forward Conor Doyle will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn right meniscus during practice.

In addition to missing Wingert and potentially Beckerman, Salt Lake will be without Maund and fellow defender Tony Beltran due to suspensions.