MLSsoccer.com.com had the opportunity recently to interview Real Salt Lake’s newest addition, striker Álvaro Saborío. The Costa Rican international made his MLS debut as a 72nd-minute sub in RSL’s win at San Jose last weekend.
If paired with Robbie Findley, the two will form the quietest and most shy strike duo in the league. Saborío seems to be very humble, and sincere, but is also a private person as you’ll see. The interview was conducted in English even though we had a stand-by interpreter.
MLSsoccer.com: What are your thoughts on joining Real Salt Lake?
Saborío: It’s a new experience. It’s a very good challenge for me, because I’m coming from Bristol in England, so I want to make a good season here.
MLSsoccer.com: Had you ever been to Utah before?
Saborío: No, this is my first time.
MLSsoccer.com: What’s your first impression of Utah?
MLSsoccer.com: When did you first know that Real Salt Lake was interested in you as a player?
Saborío: When I finished my contract in Bristol I heard a little about this team. So I went to make all the stuff to make the contract here.
MLSsoccer.com: During that process, did you think that it would always be Real Salt Lake, or was there another team in Major League Soccer that was a possibility?
Saborío: Yeah, because I have calls from other people from Chivas and Seattle so I wanted to go to the biggest club, and Real Salt Lake is the champion.
MLSsoccer.com: Do you know much about this league?
Saborío: No, this is new for me because they don’t have relegation. This is strange for me because all the leagues that I play in before always fight for the championship or for no relegation.
MLSsoccer.com: What are the advantages of playing in the United States?
Saborío: I have one more year on my contract with Sion in Switzerland, so I wanted to come here because it’s close to Costa Rica.
MLSsoccer.com: Could you walk us through your experience at your club teams, starting with Saprissa?
Saborío: It was pretty good experience because I played the club championship in Japan, and it was my first team as a professional. They opened the doors to go to Europe, and I made two good seasons in Switzerland, and then I go to Bristol and now I am here.
MLSsoccer.com: Bristol seems like a tough situation. With both of your other teams you were starting, scoring a lot, but that didn’t happen in Bristol. Was that a frustrating time for you?
Saborío: No not frustrating, because when I arrived there I started seven games, and then I don’t know what happened. So many things there are strange, so I don’t know, I don’t feel good there.
MLSsoccer.com: You had a little bit of a struggle with Bristol. Do you feel like you need to re-prove yourself here?
Saborío: No, I think I’ve made a good career. I played in the Olympics, I played in the World Cup, I’ve played 10 years now. So I don’t need to prove to anybody, to find out that I am a good player.
MLSsoccer.com: What are the highlights of your career, what are the top points?
Saborío: The goals.
MLSsoccer.com: Was it the Olympics?
Saborío: I don’t know, in the Olympics I only scored one goal. I think my bigger time in my career was my first two years in Switzerland and my time at Saprissa.
MLSsoccer.com: I assumed that you would say it was that goal last year against the U.S. in World Cup qualifying [a 3-1 victory for los Ticos].
Saborío: Ah, that’s just one.
MLSsoccer.com: For those RSL fans who don’t know much about you, can you tell us what kind of player you are out on the field?
Saborío: My type is central forward. A scorer. Always like to be dangerous. Always like to make a good pass, or a good finish. That’s my style.
MLSsoccer.com: Do you feel like you are good with both feet?
Saborío: Yeah, I make a lot of goals with both feet, and with my head. I don’t know, I don’t like to talk about me.
MLSsoccer.com: But come on, you’re “the guy” here!
Saborío: Yeah but…no…I don’t know - there is the internet.
MLSsoccer.com: You’ve been here for a short time, but have you seen enough to know how you are going to fit in with the team or what your role is going to be?
Saborío: My first experience here, these last two weeks, I think is very nice. It’s so cool because all of the players make things so I feel good here. I feel very comfortable here.
MLSsoccer.com: You are here on a loan for one year -- what are you hoping to see happen this season?
Saborío: I’m hoping to make a good season, make a lot of goals, and help the team. Make good friends here -- so we will see when we are finished.
MLSsoccer.com: A lot of American players, one of their ultimate goals is to get to Europe. You have been there. Would you like to go back again one day?
Saborío: Yeah, one day maybe I’d like to go back, but I have to think about a lot of things before I go back.
MLSsoccer.com: Growing up were you always a footballer?
Saborío: Yes, this is my passion.
MLSsoccer.com: Did you play any other sports?
Saborío: Chef. Yes, I like to cook. I don’t know if I’m good, but I like to cook.
MLSsoccer.com: Outside of soccer what do you like to do?
Saborío: Go to cinema, play PlayStation 3, like all the players.
MLSsoccer.com: This is important: FIFA or Winning Eleven?
Saborío: No, Winning Eleven, but I like the arcade games.
MLSsoccer.com: Mortal Kombat?
MLSsoccer.com: You reportedly speak several languages -- what are they?
Saborío: Portugese, a little; French, and then English and Spanish.
MLSsoccer.com: What would your past teammates say about your personality?
Saborío: Quiet. I like to think about everything.
MLSsoccer.com: You like to stick to yourself, or do you like to go out with the group.
Saborío: No, I like to be quiet.
MLSsoccer.com: What’s your family situation?
MLSsoccer.com: Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
Saborío: No [laughs]. OK, finished?
MLSsoccer.com: What are your nicknames?
MLSsoccer.com: Who is your pick to win the World Cup?
Saborío: [Pause.] Maybe Spain, Brazil, or Argentina, I don’t know.