I swear, I don’t work for a tabloid. Recently, I’ve reported on the possibility of Geoff Cameron coming to Atlanta United, as well as Cesc Fabregas.
Today, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported that Atlanta United is interested in Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Cameron and Fabregas were both pure speculation, but this Rimando rumor is by far the strongest source we’ve had connecting him to Atlanta.
Rimando holds MLS goalkeeper records for shutouts, victories and matches played. He has one year left on a contract that pays him a guaranteed $420,000, making him the second-highest paid goalkeeper in the league behind Tim Howard. The big question is whether RSL will protect Rimando and his large salary ahead of the Expansion Draft on December 13th. If not, will Atlanta United trust him to be our first starting goalkeeper?
There’s already a link between the 37-year-old and Atlanta. He is close to Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra, his former UCLA and USMNT teammate.
Rimando coming to Atlanta is certainly possible, as long as he’s willing to re-negotiate his contract. Although he is not a Designated Player at RSL, he still makes an absurd amount of money for a goalkeeper. It’s understandable Salt Lake wanted to reward Rimando for everything he has done for the club, but at 37, he only has a couple more seasons in him.
With that being said, I could see Rimando finishing his career in Atlanta. Age is irrelevant for goalkeepers and there’s a history of them playing well into their late 30’s. Plus, other than maybe Kenwyne Jones, Rimando would probably be the most well-known signing Atlanta has made.