Real Salt Lake Announces 2010 Team Award Recipients

Morales earns second team MVP honor; Borchers, Saborio & Alexandre also recognized

REAL SALT LAKE
ANNOUNCES 2010 TEAM AWARD RECIPIENTS

MF Javier Morales Claims Most Valuable Player Honor;

DF Nat Borchers Named Defender of the Year;

MF Jean Alexandre Earns Club’s Humanitarian Award;

FW Álvaro Saborío Garners Golden Boot Award as Team’s
Top Scorer

 

SANDY,
Utah (Friday, November 12, 2010)
Real Salt Lake today unveiled the
team’s annual season-ending award winners in three categories, which
were based on voting by RSL players and team’s Technical Staff. Midfielder Javier
Morales
took home the team’s Most Valuable Player for a second time
during his tenure with RSL, Nat Borchers was also a repeat performer
after earning his second Defensive Player of the Year nod in three
seasons, and second-year midfielder Jean Alexandre received the squad’s
annual Humanitarian of the Year honor. In addition, forward Álvaro
Saborío
, who was Wednesday named MLS 2010 Newcomer of the Year, claimed
RSL’s Golden Boot Award at the end of the regular season as the club’s
top scorer during League play.

 

MF Javier Morales:
RSL Most Valuable Player

 The
Claret-and-Cobalt’s midfield maestro had another brilliant season pulling the
attacking strings for the League’s highest-scoring offense, Morales’ steady
campaign causing some pundits to sing his praises as a legitimate contender for
the MLS MVP honor. The Argentine tallied seven times and provided a
team-leading nine assists, but, while his stats were impressive, it was his
ability to control the midfield, navigate through defenders with flair, and
make the unlocking pass that came to the forefront every time he stepped onto
the field.

 

“This
is a wonderful honor because we have a great team with really, really good
players, so I am very thankful to my teammates for voting for me,” said
Morales, who also earned the RSL MVP award during his first full season with
the squad in 2008. “This season was really important for the players, for the
club, for everyone. We had a very good season and played some excellent soccer,
but that is all over now. I’m already looking to focus on next year, to keep
our team going and to try and make it even better.”

 

After
a 2009 campaign in which he was often left bruised and battered by the
opposition – including in the team’s 2009 MLS Cup triumph – Morales saw his
production jump in 2010, his bright start to the season leading to a spot on
the 2010 MLS All-Star Team’s First XI squad and a subsequent showcase
performance against legendary English Premiership side Manchester United.
Morales’ bounce-back season began immediately at San Jose in the season opener,
the midfielder notching a brace on a pair of highlight-reel goals from distance
that led the Utah side to a dominating 3-0 result. That performance led to the
first of Morales’ two MLS Player of the Week nods this season, another brace in
a high-profile 2-0 victory against Columbus on August 14 helping him to earn
the Week 20 award as well.


 

DF Nat Borchers: RSL
Defensive Player of the Year

The
commander of the Real Salt Lake backfield, Borchers saw his leadership role on
the field expand in 2010, as the Colorado native took on the role of Captain
for two months following an injury to Kyle Beckerman in May. The “Ironman” of
the squad, Borchers was the only RSL player to start all 30 regular season
contests and saw 2,673 minutes of action, also tops on the team and ranking as
the fifth most across MLS in 2010. The 29-year-old was a key cog in a defensive
unit that was statistically the best in MLS history, as RSL shattered the MLS
goals allowed record by letting in only 20 goals in 30 regular season contests,
set another League record by allowing just seven goals at home, and posted the
second most shutouts by a team in a single season with 15 clean sheets.
 

 

“I’m
very humbled by this award. As a unit we were very good defensively all year
long, and we wouldn’t be as good defensively if everybody on the field didn’t
buy into that mentality,” said Borchers. “To be fair, my job is made easier by
my teammates. I say that quite honestly because I look in front of me, beside
me, and behind me and see an incredibly talented group of players that make my
job look very easy.”

 

Borchers
– who also garnered RSL Defender of the Year honors in 2008 – also provided a
flair for the dramatic on the offensive end, as his first goal of the year –
and first score in MLS play in 41 games – in the final minutes of stoppage time
on Sept. 25 against archrival Colorado saved Real Salt Lake’s MLS-record home
undefeated streak, which now stands at 25 games. Apparently his taste for
scoring wasn’t satisfied, as he duplicated his backward header from the Rocky
Mountain Cup affair a week later at New England, kicking off RSL’s scoring in
an eventual 2-1 road win against the Revs.

 

Receiving
the RSL Defender of the Year was not the only good bit of news in recent days
for the center-back, as Borchers was yesterday named to the U.S. Men’s National
Team roster that will travel to South Africa for next Wednesday’s Nelson
Mandela Challenge in Cape Town.
Borchers is in line
to make his first appearance for the United States since 2005, when he made
both of his previous “caps” for then-head coach Bruce Arena.


 

MF Jean Alexandre:
RSL Humanitarian of the Year

As a native Haitian in Major League Soccer,
Alexandre was in a unique position to serve in a humanitarian role after a
devastating earthquake rocked his birthplace’s capital of Port-au-Prince in
January. The midfielder sprang into action, raising awareness locally in Utah
for the millions of lives shattered by the event in the Caribbean by taking
part in charitable drives for clothing and soccer equipment. Those items were
then sent to his birthplace of Verrettes, Haiti, the donations going directly
to the families of children attending the Jean Alexandre Football Academy, a
program he established with his father back in 2007 that helps teach teenaged
youth in his hometown valuable skills both on and off the field. Alexandre also
lent his voice to the ongoing “Shoes for Haiti” donation drive being sponsored
by RSL and KUTV2, in addition to serving as RSL’s co-spokesperson for MLS
W.O.R.K.S.’ “Nothing But Nets” anti-malaria campaign.

“It’s a great honor
and a blessing to receive this award,” said Alexandre, who also leaves Utah
today to join his Haitian National Team mates for their international friendly
next Wednesday in Qatar. “I want to thank my teammates for voting for me, but
most importantly I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity that he’s
provided me, and only through that opportunity am I fortunate enough to be able
to help others.”

 

FW Álvaro Saborio:
RSL Golden Boot

 Saborío stormed onto the MLS scene in 2010,
immediately commanding the attention of the opposition with his classic
target-man skills and the ability to put the ball into the back of the net in a
variety of ways. The Costa Rican international would lead the squad with 12
goals in League play – five better than second-place Morales – the first of
which helped the Claret-and-Cobalt to a dramatic 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders
FC in the squad’s home opener on April 10. After continuing to pour in the
goals at Rio Tinto Stadium – his first nine League tallies all came in Sandy –
Saborío would take his goal-scoring show on the road late in the year, as he
notched a late game-winner in a 2-1 win at New England on Oct. 2 before
single-handedly allowing RSL to keep the Rocky Mountain Cup with a
stoppage-time brace that forced a 2-2 draw at Colorado in the season finale on
Oct. 23.

 

Saborío’s 12 goals in League play placed him
8th on the MLS Golden Boot chart in 2010 and were tied for the
second most in a single season by an RSL player, equaling Robbie Findley’s goal
haul from 2009 and ranking behind only Jeff Cunningham’s MLS Golden
Boot-winning 16-goal campaign back in 2006. In addition, Saborío’s veteran
presence in CONCACAF Champions League play paid off handsomely for the Utahans,
as his six goals in five contests paced the squad during the competition and
were tied for the second most in the 2010 portion of the regional club
championship.
 

 

Real Salt Lake
All-time Team Award Winners

RSL Most Valuable Player: Javier Morales
(2010)
,
Nat Borchers (2009), Javier Morales (2008), Nick Rimando (2007), Jeff
Cunningham (2006), Andy Williams (2005)

 

RSL Golden Boot Award: Álvaro Saborío
(2010)
, Robbie Findley (2009), Yura Movsisyan (2008), Robbie Findley
(2007), Jeff Cunningham (2006), Jason Kreis (2005)

 

RSL Defender of the Year: Nat Borchers
(2010)
, Jamison Olave (2009), Nat Borchers (2008), Eddie Pope (2007), Carey
Talley (2006), Pope (2005)

 

RSL Humanitarian of the Year: Jean Alexandre
(2010)
,
Robbie Russell (2009), Nat Borchers (2008), Carey Talley (2007), Seth Trembly
(2006), Brian Kamler (2005)

 

 

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