CCL Preview: RSL begin quest at Costa Rica's Herediano

Real Salt Lake vs. CS Herediano
CONCACAF Champions League, Group 2
July 31, 2012

10 pm ET, FOX Soccer

RSL Injury Report:

  • OUT: D Chris Schuler (bone bruise), GK Lalo Fernandez (wrist fracture)
  • PROBABLE: Jamison Olave (hamstring strain)


  • With so little margin for error under the new four-game CCL group format, it is important to remember the following:
  • 1) Goals reign supreme: in order to encourage attacking, open play, CCL Quarterfinal seedings for the 8 group winners is based on goal +/- in group play; total goals scored the next tiebreaker ... Should two teams finish tied atop a group, head-to-head points is primary tiebreaker, then goal differential.
  • 2) Yellow Card Peril: players will be forced to serve a one-game suspension in group play every two yellow cards; individual players see their slates wiped clean at the Quarterfinal and Final stages.
  • Real Salt Lake embark on their second-ever foray in the CONCACAF region’s annual tourney to determine its continental champion and award a berth to the annual FIFA Club World Cup, seeking to advance one step further than the team’s 3-2 aggregate goal loss in the 2010/11 Finals to Mexican power Monterrey, who also won the 2011/12 tourney.
  • RSL flew Sunday to San Jose, Costa Rica via charter just 36 hours after posting a 2-1 win in Major League Soccer play over visiting Vancouver, and trained Monday at the new National Stadium in Costa Rica, where they will face CS Herediano for the first time.
  • Sunday’s match is the first of four group matches for RSL in the next 81 days, to be played concurrently with their MLS slate.

WATCH: RSL discuss CCL expectations

  • Full Name: Club Sport Herediano
  • Founded: June 12, 1921
  • Manager: Jacques Odir
  • League: Primera Division de Costa Rica
  • Honors: League titles - 22 (1921, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1955, 1961, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1992-93, 2012)
  • Official Website:
  • Current roster:
  • CONCACAF Team Profile:,,12856~1021723,00.html
  • Nicknames: El Equipo Florense, Los Gloriosos Florenses, Rojos y Amarillos
  • Player to watch: FW  Victor Nuñez:  The 32-year-old forward – and teammate of RSL’s Álvaro Saborío on Costa Rica’s 2006 World Cup squad – led Herediano with 18 total goals in the 2011 Invierno and 2012 Verano campaigns
  • Nuñez has scored five goals in 17 appearances for the Ticos 
  • Stadium: Home Stadium: Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. CCL Stadium: Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica
  • Herediano normally play their home league matches at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero, a 15,000 seat venue with a turf field located about 10 kilometers north of the Costa Rican capital of San Jose
  • However, Herediano will host its CONCACAF Champions League games at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, a one-year-old, 35,000 seat stadium with a grass field that serves as the permanent home for the country’s national team
  • RSL’s Costa Rican international Álvaro Saborío is very familiar with the Estadio Nacional, having scored the first goal in stadium history during its inaugural match in March, 2011


  • With Los Angeles’ 2011 MLS Western Conference Semifinal win over NY, RSL Nation was disappointed to not be able to host the West Final.
  • However, the Los Angeles victory did benefit RSL by allowing Jason Kreis’ club to secure passage to the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League tourney, by virtue of the Galaxy’s “duplicate” spots between the 2011 Supporters’ Shield berth and its trip - and eventual win - in MLS Cup.
  • This Fall’s CCL tourney will be played under a new format, as all 24 teams engage directly in group play, with only the 8 winners who emerge from a 3-team, 4-game group stage advancing to the Championship round.
  • LA, SEA and RSL are joined by Houston, who qualified as a 2011 MLS Cup participant.
  • Toronto FC, as the Canadian champion, are the 5th MLS side to qualify.
  • Despite not being named among All-Stars of any kind, RSL forward Alvaro Saborio - the club’s first-ever DP - tallied six goals in five July games to move into 3rd overall in the MLS Golden Boot race.
  • Against Vancouver, “Sabo” scored both goals, converting a 1st-half PK and providing the game-winning header in the 58’, rising high to snap down a cross from Javier Morales.
  • Saborio opened the month by scoring 3 goals in 15 minutes against Portland on July 7 to snap the club’s 4-game home winless streak in all competitions, dating back to the May 29 US Open Cup loss to Minnesota of the NASL.
  • On July 21 against Colorado, Sabo had 1 goal & 1 assist.
  • Sabo’s heroics give the Costa Rican international his club-high 37 goals in 73 MLS games, including 14 game-winning goals to go along with 9 multi-goal games.
  • In all competitions, Sabo has 47 goals in 83 games, with 12 multigoal matches.
  • RSL are now 27-4-5 all-time when Sabo scores, the third-year MLS player joining Kreis (2005 Open Cup) and Robbie Findley (2009 MLS) as the lone “hat trick heroes” in RSL’s eight-year, 278-game history across all competitions.

WATCH: CCL 360 - The 2011 Finals

  • Under the coaching tenure of RSL manager Jason Kreis, the team has posted an all-time 6-3-3 mark in its CCL history, including a 4-1-1 mark in group play in the 2010/11 tourney against Cruz Azul (MEX), Toronto FC (CAN) and Arabe Unido (PAN).
  • Overall, RSL have outscored their CONCACAF opponents 26-17, with a 17-11 advantage during the group stage.
  • RSL won their first five home games in its 2010/11 CCL foray, prior to dropping the Final, 0-1, to Monterrey (MEX).
  • On the road in CCL play, RSL posted a 1-2-3 mark overall away from home (1-1-1 in group play, with an 8-8 goal differential), the semifinal loss at Saprissa (CRC) still good enough to clinch advancement from the two-leg series.
  • RSL’s 1-1-0 mark against Costa Rican opposition is included in Major League Soccer’s overall 9-15-8 mark against “Tico” club teams, with a 27-40 goal differential for the North American sides.
  • RSL’s 3-1-0 mark and 9-6 goal differential against Central American sides is also included in the league’s overall 48-29-22 tally against CONCACAF teams outside of Mexico and the Caribbean, with the MLS squads holding a 134-113 goal advantage.