Former RSL star Alvaro Saborio makes surprise retirement announcement

Alvaro Saborio, who became Real Salt Lake's career goalscoring leader during his time in MLS, retired abruptly from soccer on Thursday. Saborio had been playing in his native Costa Rica with Saprissa after leaving D.C. United following the 2016 season.

Saborio announced his retirement via Twitter with this statement, originally in Spanish:

"Yesterday I took the decision to retire from from playing professional soccer. First of all I give thanks to God for all he blessed me with on this path. I feel happy to have have had the opportunity to do what I love since I was a child for all this time. When I was a child I dreamed about becoming a professional soccer player. God gave me a lot more than that and I am completely thankful to him for everything. I want to thank the teammates, coaches, directors, doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, kit men, fans, etc. Now I come to a stage of my life that fills me with illusion, happiness and motivation.

"Many thanks to everyone."

Saborio scored 79 goals across all competitions for RSL from 2010 -- when he was the MLS Newcomer of the Year -- until he was traded to D.C. United in the middle of the 2015 season. 

He left MLS and returned to Costa Rican power Deportivo Saprissa -- where he began his professional career and played from 2001-06 -- this past offseason, but retired abruptly after a dispute with club fans who were berating him over his missed chances in a loss to Belen according to reports from Costa Rica.

He told that his reason for retiring was "more than anything to protect my family, I don't want to expose them to these things and I no longer want to play."