16 03 2010

Hey guys, I thought that I would post an interview that just went up on In Utah This Week’s website… check it out.

Why did you choose soccer as your game? When I was younger, my parents threw me into all kinds of sports, but it was soccer that I really felt a connection with. Even after high school I got the chance to play football in college but knew soccer was the path I wanted to take. I love the whole concept of being on a team and working for each other. I love the hard work it takes to be on the field, the feeling of winning, and seeing the expressions on home and away fans faces when we win. I like to compete and I like a challenge … soccer gives me that.

What do you like best about being part of Real Salt Lake? Honestly, the whole organization is top notch, from the owners to the fans. It really makes you do whatever it takes to win when you have backing like we do. I’ve played with the most storied team in MLS (DC United) who have lifted a lot of cups, but I wanted to be a part of something new and really put my stamp on being part of the next big thing. To me, the next big thing is REAL.

What do you think it takes to be a great goalkeeper? I think experience and consistency makes a great GK. You learn a lot by being in game-like situations. The more you play, the more confidence you gain as you become more comfortable on the field. I’ve made my share of mistakes in goal and will continue to, but it’s how you respond to the mistakes that eventually will make you a great GK.

You were named MVP, the person most responsible for winning Real Salt Lake’s first professional championship. What impact has that had on you? I get that all the time that I won the cup, but I would be an idiot to really think that. In team sports like soccer, it’s never one guy. It takes the combination of players, commitment, and the belief in the ultimate goal of being crowned MLS Cup champions. We really believed we were the best team on the field against anybody and we showed it. Sure I saved a couple PKs, but big players step up in big games and we had 10 other guys who stepped up. The impact has definitely been good. We’ve been welcomed all over Utah and are now more respected throughout the MLS.

How have you grown in your personal life as a result of your victories on the field? I think being a professional athlete, you come to realize there are a lot of ways to grow off of the field. For me, I have grown as I try to stay humble. It’s easy to get a big head and walk around like your shit doesn’t stink, but I think treating people how I would want to be treated and staying grounded has made me a better person off the field.

What’s your secret to handling the pressure of a big game? I think you put pressure on yourself. I still to this day get nervous before every game, however, pressure is something you learn to play with. I love playing under pressure. I love seizing the moment of victory after a pressure situation. Again, I think it comes down to experience whether you’ve played in finals before, in front of huge crowds, and in do-or-die situations. You come to be more relaxed than the average player.

What’s your daily schedule like? Usually, I wake up with my son around 6:30 a.m., make coffee, figure out breakfast, and play with my kids until I have to depart for training around 8 – 8:30 a.m. We have training from 10 a.m. till around 11:30 or so and then it’s back to the stadium for weights. After that, it’s back home with my wife or out with the guys for lunch. My kids, Jett and Benny, take their naps around noon so that’s when Jacqui and I can talk, chill out, watch one of our hundreds of recorded reality TV shows, or nap ourselves. Then it’s down to the park, the cousin’s house, or backyard for playtime. Dinner usually is taken care of by Jacqui or The Dodo takeout. Yummy! Then, I take the kid’s baths, put them to bed, and finish the day on the couch with my feet up and a glass of wine before heading off to bed.

How do you stay in shape in the off-season? During the off-season, I do a lot of cardio work that consists of running, biking, or using the elliptical. I also throw in some plyos and weights when it gets closer to preseason. Our fitness coach does a good job of putting a list together for us to stay in decent shape, which is definitely helpful.

What do you like best about Salt Lake City? I can’t just name one thing I love about SLC because there are tons. There’s Eggs in the City, the mountains, the lakes, The Dodo, Electric Tattoo, all our local friends that have adopted us, the Harvard/Yale hood, Sundance Film Festival, A Bar Named Sue, Rio Tinto Stadium, Beans and Brew, winter, spring, summer, and fall to name a few.

We hear you’re a big music fan; what are some local concerts you’ve enjoyed lately, and why? Yes, I’m a huge music fan. I recently saw AFI and Rancid at In the Venue, and Slightly Stoopid up at Harry O’s. However, I’ve seen a lot of shows here including Jack Johnson, Snoop, Incubus, Ziggy Marley, Blink 182, 311, and Xavier Rudd to name a few. The only bad thing about our job is that we play mostly on weekends, traveling included, and miss a lot of shows and dope festivals around the country.

What are your future plans — where do you go from here? Well, I’d like to finish my career in SLC, but that has to come from Real Salt Lake. This is home to me and my family, so if I continue to perform and bring trophies to SLC, I expect to be here. With the new CBA, we might be able to move wherever we want after our contracts are up, so I really hope RSL step up to the plate.




One response

18 03 2010

Did you notice that the photographer does not know your name? He thinks it’s Armando ;o) Too funny. How could anyone not know Nick Rimando?

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