MONTERREY, Mexico — Despite Monterrey's recent struggles on the field, most observers consider the Mexican club favorites to beat Real Salt Lake in the CONCACAF Champions League final. After all, los Rayados are stocked with more than a few superstars, including Chilean beast Humberto Suazo (right) and Mexican internationals Ricardo Osorio and Aldo de Nigris.
But according to RSL striker Álvaro Saborío, those observers might be a little starstruck by the big names on Monterrey's roster.
“We think as a group," the Costa Rican said. "We’re not thinking of ourselves as stars, and I think we can make it.”
RSL coach Jason Kreis has often spoken about the unity of his team and how much of their success derives from a team-first mentality. Their playing philosophy emphasizes possession and team defense, and Saborío calls the group-think as one of the biggest differentiators between RSL and Monterrey.
“I think they take care of the stars, and we think about the group,” he said.
For Saborío, who has eight goals in this edition of the CCL, RSL's positioning as the underdog is just fine.
“This is good for us, because we don’t have so much to lose," he said. "But we have the same chances to win.”