Saborio wins MLS Player of the Week

Costa Rican striker honored for hat trick performance at New York

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio has been named MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 22 of the 2013 MLS season.

Returning to the RSL lineup for the first time since departing for CONCACAF Gold Cup play last month, the Costa Rican striker scored three goals in RSL’s 4-3 loss at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. The all-time leading scorer in Claret-and-Cobalt history with 61 goals in 105 games across all competitions, Saborio opened his account with a penalty kick conversion in the 45th minute before equalizing in the 80th and scoring a spectacular goal to put RSL up 3-2 in the 82nd

“I’m very happy to come back to Real Salt Lake and try to help the team by scoring goals, but at the same time I am unhappy because we couldn't  get a result at New York,” said Saborio, who now has three of the five hat tricks in Claret-and-Cobalt history.

“I felt good, my teammates were glad to welcome me back,” he continued. “I’ve always said I’m very comfortable with Real Salt Lake, I’m happy here and I’m happy because of the goals I scored but I’m very sad because of the way we lost. We deserved to win… I would’ve liked to win and come back to the club with a victory, the team played well on my absence and now that I’m back I’m just looking to pitch in and help out. We must now rest and focus on our next opponent.”

Despite only playing in nine league games this year due to a combination of international call-ups and injuries, Saborio leads Real Salt Lake and is tied for seventh in the league with seven goals in 2013. His 0.85 goals per 90 minutes is first in MLS for all players with more than 207 minutes played. Saborio now has 15 multi-goal games and 20 game-winning goals in his time with RSL; the Utah side is now 32-6-7 all-time when he finds the back of the net.

This is the second MLS Player of the Week honor for a RSL player this year after FW Olmes Garcia won the Week 15 award. Saborio last won the award in July 2012, when he was honored for his hat trick performance in RSL’s 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers on July 7, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium. This is the 21st time in RSL history that a Claret-and-Cobalt player has been named Player of the Week.]

The MLS Player of the Week award is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.

RSL will return to action on Saturday, when it will take on the rival Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the decisive match of the 2013 Rocky Mountain Cup Presented by Mark Miller Subaru. Saturday’s match will kick at 7:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ABC 4, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM.