Real Salt Lake Acquires Rights to FW Alvaro Saborio through 2014

Acquisition makes Costa Rican international RSL's first "Designated Player"

REAL SALT LAKE
ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO FW Álvaro SaborÍO
THROUGH 2014

2010 MLS Newcomer of the Year Becomes First
“Designated Player” in Club History as Costa Rican Striker Acquired from FC
Sion (Switzerland)

 

SANDY, Utah / NEW
YORK (Wednesday, December 1, 2010)
– Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey today announced that the club has purchased the
contract of Costa Rican forward Álvaro Saborío, upon expiration of his loan from Swiss club FC Sion. Today’s
transaction ensures that 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake retains rights to
its leading 2010 scorer through the end of the 2014 season. Due to fees
associated with Saborio’s acquisition, he becomes RSL’s first-ever “Designated
Player” under Major League Soccer’s roster and salary compliance guidelines.


“First and foremost, I must express
the deepest gratitude to Real Salt Lake ownership for stepping up and making
the moves necessary to keep this team together,” said Lagerwey, who saw RSL
finish with a club-record 56 points in 2010, finishing second in the MLS
Supporters Shield race. “We are delighted that Álvaro has made a long-term
commitment to Real Salt Lake, and we hope this signing contributes to our
future success.
Our attendance has steadily increased since we moved
into Rio Tinto Stadium and that increased fan support is one of the primary
reasons we as an organization were able to make this happen.  As our
franchise continues to grow we will continue to plow resources back into the
team to give us the best chance to win.
Without their fervent dedication to
our sport and our stadium in this community, we would be unable to make the
Team the Star it has become locally, nationally and regionally.”

Just three weeks ago, Saborio was named the League’s 2010 Newcomer of
the Year
,
as voted on by his fellow players, coaches, general managers, and media. The
28-year-old Saborío beat out two New York Red Bull players – MF Joel Lindpere
and FW Thierry Henry – to become the fourth player to earn the award since the
League first introduced the honor in 2007.

 

“I am very pleased
for my client to plan his long-term future in Utah,” said Horacio Patanian, Saborio’s representative. “Real Salt Lake was always
very interested in Saborio and respectful of the process. When we met with
Garth and Jason Kreis, we knew the defending MLS champions were the best thing
for Sabo after his time in Bristol City. For him to move to a club competing in
CONCACAF and one so dedicated to international success has been an excellent
great situation for Sabo. Garth Lagerwey has been outstanding to deal with, and
I am very comfortable with the manner in which he and the club have handled the
player’s interests.”

 

Saborío resoundingly
answered the question of who would pick up departed striker Yura Movsisyan’s
scoring slack in 2010, leading Real Salt Lake in scoring in both League play
(12 goals – 8th on MLS Golden Boot chart) and during its maiden
appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League (6 goals – T-2nd in the
2010 portion of the competition). His introduction to the Claret-and-Cobalt
faithful at Rio Tinto Stadium was a dramatic one, as he came off the bench to
head home the equalizing goal in the 94th minute against Seattle Sounders
FC on April 10, punctuating the squad’s Championship celebration evening and
keeping alive what would eventually become the longest home unbeaten run in
League history.

 

While Saborio’s
scoring total was prolific, his goals were also clutch, as the Costa Rican
international tallied five match-winners and ended the regular season with a
flourish, his double in stoppage time on the season’s final weekend at Colorado
single-handedly allowing RSL to capture the Rocky Mountain Cup for a fourth
consecutive season via the 2-2 draw, extending the club’s team-record 14-match
undefeated run in League play.
While
MLS competition is the focus for all awards, factoring in RSL’s 2010/11
CONCACAF success brings Saborío’s totals to 18 goals in 29 games – the scoring
haul equal to MVP candidate and MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski of San
Jose during the MLS regular season
. The Costa Rican international was thrice recognized by MLS during his
first year in the League, earning two Player of the Week awards (Week
8
and Week
14
) and the title of MLS
Player of the Month for May
.
 

 

Saborío is the first
member of Real Salt Lake to capture the Newcomer of the Year honor from MLS,
and was one of two RSL players to capture a League award this season, joining
Defender of the Year honoree Jamison Olave. Real Salt Lake became the
first-ever MLS team – and just the second non-Mexican club – to win a CONCACAF
Champions League group, posting a 4-1-1 mark in round-robin games with Cruz
Azul (Mexico), Toronto FC (Canada) and Arabe Unido (Panama).
 

 

Considered
one of the CONCACAF region’s top forwards, the 28-year-old Saborío joined RSL
last March with a wealth of club experience both in his native Costa Rica and
in Europe. After cutting his teeth in the youth system of Mexican side Tigres,
Saborío returned to Costa Rica and starred for powerhouse Club Deportivo
Saprissa
from 2001-06, averaging nearly two goals every three games (95
goals in 149 games) while helping “los Morados” to back-to-back CONCACAF
Champions League finals appearances in 2004 and 2005, the latter in which
Saprissa defeated Mexico’s U.N.A.M. Pumas 3-2 on aggregate for the side’s third
regional title. In the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup, “Sabo” was the prestigious
competition’s leading scorer, with two goals, joining Liverpool striker Peter
Crouch and two other players.

 

Saborío would make the jump to
European football after signing with FC Sion, where he scored 36 goals in 87
appearances from 2006-09. In the fall of 2009, Saborío joined English Coca-Cola
Championship (second division) squad Bristol City on loan for the
beginning of its 2009/10 campaign, netting twice in 21 appearances before
making the jump to the MLS ranks.

 

Saborío has been equally impressive
for his country, representing Costa Rica on the senior level 57 times and
scoring 22 goals. Saborío helped Costa Rica qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
Finals in Germany, where he made a pair of appearances off the bench in group
play. American fans will recognize Saborío from the 2009 CONCACAF World Cup
Qualifier against the United States on June 3, when his left-footed blast just
79 seconds into the match spurred the “Ticos” on to a 3-1 victory at his old
club stomping grounds of the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose.

 

The worldly Saborío saw no problem
communicating with his RSL teammates, as “Sabo” speaks five languages fluently
– English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mekatelyu – a Limonese Creole
dialect spoken in Costa Rica.

 

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