Saborío still question mark for semifinal match

Striker's minutes up in the air; Kreis says Borchers underrated

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio worked out for the second time this week on Friday, but there's still plenty of uncertainty on how much he can contribute for the team's postseason matchup against FC Dallas.

Real Salt Lake host FC Dallas in the Western Conference semifinal series finale on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, FSC).

BUY: Tickets, RSL vs. FC Dallas

Saborío has battled a lingering knee injury during the past several weeks and was subbed out of RSL’s 2-1 loss to FC Dallas in last Saturday’s series opener in the 68th minute. He skipped the team’s workout on Tuesday before returning on Thursday and Friday.

Although there was a concern earlier this week that Saborío likely wouldn’t be ready to go against the Hoops on Saturday night, RSL coach Jason Kreis was more optimistic after Friday’s workout session.

“Now we know for certain that he’ll be able to contribute in some fashion,” Kreis said.

Saborío has scored a team-high 12 goals during league play this season, more than the output of forward Fabian Espindola (6) and likely starter Robbie Findley (5) combined. RSL will also miss the services of suspended midfielder Javier Morales, who has scored seven goals in league play this year.

Asked Friday what type of adjustments he’ll make for the absence of Morales, Kreis stuck to the script he’s used all week.

“That’s an easy question,” Kreis said. “None.”

Borchers underrated?

Friday’s announcement of Jamison Olave winning the Visa Defender of the Year means that RSL teammate Nat Borchers came up short in his effort to crown an impressive season with some hardware.

[inline_node:321094]Borchers and the LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez were also nominees for the award.

“Nat Borchers has deserved much more credit than he’s gotten for several years now,” Kreis said. “I still scratch my head as to why he’s not getting a national team call-up, or at least a chance. Now, for him to get at least some national exposure, I think that’s very important for him.”

Borchers started all 30 games for the second consecutive season and finished fourth in the league among field players for minutes played this year. He’s started all but one regular season game in his three seasons since joining RSL in 2008.

Veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando was also nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year, but LA Galaxy netminder Donovan Ricketts was given the award on Wednesday.

“I’m really pleased for Nat and Nick, but I feel their disappointment to be so close on not to win it,” Kreis said. “I’m sure they’re disappointed in their own right.”

Think you know the game? Test your powers of prediction with's new fantasy game, Pro Soccer Picks. Play NOW!