SANDY, Utah -- Representing the United States at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was an experience that Filipino-American Nick Rimando will never forget.
“Amazing time there in Brazil,” the 35-year-old goalkeeper said. “It was a dream come true for me, and I took it all in, and it was the highest of highs that I’ll remember forever.”
Although he didn’t play in any of the U.S.’s four matches, Rimando proved his worth by putting in extra work with teammates after practice, providing tips on game days, and keeping morale high.
Accordingly, he was thrilled about the club making it out of the so-called Group of Death with a 2-1 win over Ghana and 2-2 tie against Portugal.
“We had a lot of doubters that didn’t expect us to move on to the next round,” Rimando said. “But we stuck together as a team, we played well, we fought, and the result is us moving through the Group of Death and another special feeling.”
In addition, Rimando also enjoyed working with and learning from fellow goalie Tim Howard, who set a World Cup record with 16 saves in the team’s 2-1 loss to Belgium.
“He’s a great guy and a great goalkeeper, and we’re fantastic friends,” he said. “To train with him everyday was amazing.”
Rimando believes the Stars and Stripes took a major step in the right direction with their performance in Brazil and should only get better going forward.
“Two consecutive World Cups that we move on to the Round of 16, very close to moving on to the quarters, and I think that not only the soccer on the field but the soccer knowledge and excitement off the field is moving in the right direction,” he said.
With the World Cup behind him, Rimando is now focused on helping Utah-based Real Salt Lake win a second Major League Soccer championship.
The team is currently in second place in the Western Conference with 17 games remaining.