Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio healthy for MLS Cup, Devon Sandoval's status in question
Saborio, RSL's leading scorer, was proclaimed “healthy” by head coach Jason Kreis as the team was boarding a chartered jet on Thursday afternoon, bound for Kansas City and the MLS Cup final. The Costa Rican forward pulled a muscle in his leg during the second leg of RSL's Western Conference Semifinals series against the LA Galaxy and missed both legs of the Conference Championship against the Portland Timbers.
A month later, Saborio is “fully healthy and in contention to start the game on Saturday,” Kreis told reporters.
However, Sandoval – who started both playoff games against the Timbers and played well, scoring a goal in the first leg – may not be available.
Kreis said Sandoval picked up an injury in training Wednesday and didn’t train Thursday.
“Sandoval is not quite as healthy,” Kreis said. "[He] has been going a while now with, actually, a small break in his foot. So it will be a real tough consideration for him on the weekend.”
The RSL coach, unsurprisingly, wasn't giving away his starting lineup.
But it hasn't escaped anyone's notice that after an injury-plagued regular season, Robbie Findley has started all three of the matches that got Salt Lake to Saturday's final – a 2-0 second-leg win over the Galaxy and 4-2 and 1-0 wins over Portland in the playoffs. He had two goals and an assist in the two matches against the Timbers.
“I feel like he's now coming into some confidence and some sharpness,” Kreis said earlier in the week. “And I don't think it's any coincidence because the games are the biggest.”
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Defender Chris Wingert has also been declared healthy and, like Saborio, is in contention to start. When he boarded the charter flight to Kansas City on Thursday afternoon, it was the first time he'd been allowed to fly in more than a month. He suffered a broken rib and a pneumothorax in the Nov. 10 win over the Timbers, underwent surgery and has been rehabbing since then.