It’s no secret that the Colorado Rapids started off the year horribly and didn’t really pull it together until a little over a month ago. So when the MLS All-Star voting came around, I didn’t expect any ‘Pids to get the fan vote, but you never know what could happen with the additional head coach and commissioner picks. The final roster was announced yesterday and there isn’t a single Rapids player on the list.
We could talk all day about who does and doesn’t deserve to be on this list, but there is one pick in particular that I do think is worth talking about: Don Garber selecting Nick Rimando.
It begs the question: Would Tim Howard have been a better choice?
(And no, this has nothing to do with Rimando playing for Real Salt Lake. I actually think Rimando is a great person and a talented goalkeeper.)
Looking strictly at the stats for this season, Howard has started 16 out of 17 games. He missed a midweek game in Philadelphia because midweek games are difficult for older players. His goal against average is 2.19, which we know is elevated due to the high number of goals coming in at the beginning of the season, and his save percentage is 58.5%. Howard has faced 82 shots.
On the other hand, Rimando has started 12 out of 16 games. He missed a few games due to a knee injury, but has played consistently since May 18th. His goals against average is 1.92 and his save percentage is 60.4%. Rimando has faced 53 shots.
All in all, there isn’t much of a difference if we’re just looking at the numbers. To be completely honest, I’m not sure Andre Blake deserves to be there, but the fan vote is a whole different issue.
At the end of the day, it would appear that Garber gave Rimando the courtesy nod for the keeper’s last MLS season. He’s been in the league since 2002 and holds the records for all-time saves (1,662), shutouts (146), and games played (497). Between 2002-2018, he had 22 USMNT appearances. In a press release, Rimando said he was “honored and, to be honest, very surprised to be selected with the class of this year’s All-Star team. To be selected amongst the quality of goalkeepers that showcased their craft through the first part of the season is very humbling.”
Howard, on the other hand, is more of a national team star than an MLS star. He played for the MetroStars from 1998-2003 and then returned to MLS to join the Rapids in 2016. Between 2002-2017, he had 121 appearances between the sticks for the USMNT, including the Belgium match in 2014 that earned him the title Secretary of Defense.
After the Rapids’ amazing 2016 season that saw them lose to the Seattle Sounders in the conference finals after beating LA Galaxy in penalty kicks (thanks to a couple saves by Howard), there hasn’t been much to celebrate in Colorado.
Rimando has been with RSL since 2007, and in that time, the club has made it to the knockout round once, conference semifinals four times, the conference finals two times, and the MLS Cup twice. They won the cup in 2009 and lost in the finals in 2013.
If we’re looking solely at their importance in MLS (this is the MLS All-Star game, after all), maybe Garber was right in choosing Rimando. If we’re considering that one of the country’s greatest goalkeepers of all time is retiring this year and fans might have wanted to see him play, maybe Garber should’ve named Howard to the roster instead.
Taking all that into consideration, who do you think deserved the spot?
Who should’ve made the MLS All-Star squad?
This poll is closed