SANDY, Utah — Álvaro Saborío's completed his hat trick in style against Chivas USA last Saturday, capping his night with a strike that can only be called a thing of beauty.
The Costa Rican collected the ball on a rebound from keeper Dan Kennedy at the top of the 18-yard box, turned and lofted a perfect chip that just grazed the underside of the cross bar before rippling the net.
All part of the plan, according to Saborío.
"I saw the play that [Will Johnson] had,” he said, “and then I saw the keeper and I tried to chip it.”
RSL's Beckerman: We'll play wild-card game if we have to
The shot not only earned Saborío a nomination for MLS’ AT&T Goal of the Week, but as his 17th strike of 2012, it also gave him sole possession of RSL’s single-season goal record, moving him ahead of Jeff Cunningham's 16 tallies during the 2006 campaign.
And although it’s a nice honor, breaking the record certainly wasn't a high priority for the Costa Rican.
"Not much," Saborío said when asked if the record had any meaning to him. "I just try to do the best I can to help the team."
He’s done more than his fair share to help his squad in 2012, as his 17 goals make up almost 39 percent of RSL's total of 44 this season.
"[His form has] been spectacular really," said head coach Jason Kreis. "The whole year, it's been pretty consistent that he's been scoring goals. I think he may have had one patch toward the beginning [of the season] where he hadn't scored a goal in a while, but other than that, he's been our go-to guy. If we have any chances to succeed we are going to need him to continue that."
New face in camp
After getting his work visa situation taken care of, RSL’s newest signing, David Viana, joined the team in training at America First Field.
The dual-citizen of both France and Portugal joined the club from Atlético Madrid C, the second reserve team of the defending Europa League champions. Portuguese and French are his natural languages, but communication hasn’t proven too tough with the former member of the Portuguese U-17, U-18 and U-19 national teams.
"Spanish," said Kreis when asked how he gets his points across. "He speaks and understands Spanish quite well because he was there for, I think, most of his youth development, or at least for the past few years."
Viana has been cleared to play, but it is unknown when or if he will action with the club.