Real Salt Lake is positive in the return of Saborio

The forward Alvaro Saborio may be out for the first CONCACAF match

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Photo Credit: 
RSL Communications

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Lake had its first official practice of the season this past Saturday at the
University of Utah facilities, and on Sunday the team flew south to Arizona to
begin its first training camp at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande – one of
the finest training facilities just south of Phoenix, which also happen to be
the home of the RSL-Arizona Academy.

There was a very positive mood exerted
from the players with a bit of anxiousness and joy – for not having lost
many during the offseason, but rather have gained reinforces for the team – to
get the season going.

“I am ready. I haven't played in about
a month and a half, and I'm anxious to be back,” said the captain Kyle
Beckerman, who vacationed during the offseason in Europe and attended a
Real Madrid game.

Meanwhile, Coach Jason Kreis is already
showing signs of confidence in his team and is very happy and impressed with
all the work his players did during the offseason. 

“Our guys have come back in better
preseason form than ever before, and that is a great step forward since we only
have four weeks and three days until our first game.”

Apparently the first physicals of the
season showed that this team is ready for the challenges coming up in getting ready
for their first game.

“These guys are not afraid of hard work,”
said Coach Kreis. “Everyone kept their form with the pre-assigned individual
exercises set by their physical trainer, Dan Barlow, and it seems that
everyone followed them.”

The only questionable player is
the international forward, Alvaro Saborio, after having surgery performed
on his knee at the end of last season. The 28-year-old “Tico” became the first
Designated Player for Real Salt Lake after the team purchased his rights and secured
a contract that will keep him with RSL until the 2014 season.

“I'm very happy with the outcome and
that I get stay here,” said Sabo.

He isn’t sure of playing at the
team's season opener – the CONCACAF Quarterfinals on February 22nd against
Columbus Crew in Ohio.

“I don't feel any pain, but I do have
to strengthen my leg. It all depends on what Tyson (Pace) says,” indicates
Saborio with a smile, looking at the team's physical therapist, the bilingual
Athletic Trainer who is working closely with el tico.

The team begins the pre-season with a
few other players injured. The central defender Rauwshan McKenzie suffered a
minor sprained ankle during the offseason but hopes to rejoin the preseason
training this upcoming week.

The other young defender Chris Schuler
is still recovering from his right foot surgery from last season. According to
Coach Kreis, Schuler will probably not train with the team until their second
trip to Arizona.

And although he practiced normally,
Nelson Gonzalez had to apply ice to his left foot.

“I’m still suffering from some of the
discomfort from last season,” said the young Argentine midfielder.

The other youngster that seemed pretty
happy was the Brazilian, Paulo Araujo Jr.

“It’s the first time that I signed a
four-year contract with a team. I am very happy and I hope to have more
opportunities this season to develop the confidence they have entrusted upon me,”
said the forward.

Coach Kreis also confirmed the Canadian
midfielder Will Johnson will be playing an international friendly in Greece on
February 9, and will of course also participate in the Gold Cup this summer.

“We have made it part of our team’s
philosophy that we do not want our players to miss these kinds of opportunities,”
said Kreis. “This is a great year for Will Johnson and Canada with the Gold Cup
this summer, and that’s why I want him to go play that game [against Greece];
we have decided to allow him to do so.”

It seems that all the RSL players
completed the physicals this past weekend, with the exception of Nick Rimando
and Arturo Alvarez, who are playing for their respective national teams. Both
will join Real Salt Lake in Arizona soon.