This was the performance Real Salt Lake fans had been waiting for.
After several weeks of coming so, so close to breaking games open, seeing chances pushed just wide or the opposing 'keeper make a wonder save, Álvaro Saborío finally broke through. The veteran center forward produced both RSL tallies in this past Saturday's 2-1 win over New England at Rio Tinto Stadium, keeping his team in the Western Conference hunt and reminding everyone exactly why he's been one of the league's best forwards since donning the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Saborío now has four goals on the season, and while RSL aren't exactly chugging along quite yet, the fact that he's rounding into form suggests there are quite a few more wins coming up for the Utah side.
MLS Player of the Week Chris Wondolowski becomes the first player this season to make two appearances on the top 20 in the same week, pulling in at No. 2 for his midweek brace in a 5-3 win over D.C. United and then at No. 6 for his weekend effort at the Vancouver Whitecaps, which saw the Earthquakes drop a 2-1 decision four minutes into extra time. Wondolowski now has a stranglehold on the Golden Boot race, sitting pretty with 11 goals from 10 contests.
Fredy Montero also made two appearances in the top 20, pulling in at No. 17 for his midweek effort against the LA Galaxy — which included a stunning, 35-yard golazo in Seattle's 2-0 win — and No. 18 for his performance in last Saturday's 1-0 win over Philadelphia, in which he produced the game-winning assist.
Rookie defender Austin Berry made quite a splash in his first start for the Chicago Fire, getting whistled for a penalty (that was converted), but finding the equalizer just minutes later off a feed from Sebastián Grazzini. The only other rookie to crack the top 20 was New York's Ryan Meara, who had the best showing of his young career in Saturday's 1-0 win at the LA Galaxy. Meara came in at No. 9 on the Index, the second highest-rated goalkeeper behind Columbus' Andy Gruenebaum (No. 5).
Like Wondolowski and Montero, Colorado's Jaime Castrillón also made a double appearance on the top 20. His midweek showing in the Rapids' 2-1 loss to New England was good for No. 4, while his 87 minutes on Sunday in the 2-0 bounce-back win over FC Dallas saw him snag No. 14. As a measure of how dominant the Colorado midfield was in that game — as it should have been, being up two men for the majority of the contest — Jeff Larentowicz grabbed No. 7 on the list.
Saer Sene, who had a goal and assist in New England's win over Colorado, was adjudged to have put in the eighth-best performance of the week, while Seattle striker Eddie Johnson rounded out the top 10 thanks to his game-winner against LA.
Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 8 Powered by Castrol Index
|1||Álvaro Saborío||Forward||Real Salt Lake||90||1,978|
|2||Chris Wondolowski*||Forward||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,464|
|3||Austin Berry||Defender||Chicago Fire||90||1,369|
|4||Jaime Castrillón*||Midfielder||Colorado Rapids||90||1,300|
|5||Andy Gruenebaum||Goalkeeper||Columbus Crew||90||1,296|
|6||Chris Wondolowski*||Forward||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,266|
|7||Jeff Larentowicz||Midfielder||Colorado Rapids||90||1,250|
|8||Saer Sene||Forward||New England Revolution||90||1,169|
|9||Ryan Meara||Goalkeeper||Red Bull New York||90||1,143|
|10||Eddie Johnson||Forward||Seattle Sounders FC||80||1,128|
|11||Steven Lenhart||Forward||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,071|
|12||Gershon Koffie||Midfielder||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||1,051|
|13||Troy Perkins||Goalkeeper||Portland Timbers||90||1,025|
|14||Jaime Castrillon*||Midfielder||Colorado Rapids||86||990|
|15||Blake Brettschneider||Forward||New England Revolution||90||972|
|16||Rodney Wallace||Defender||Portland Timbers||81||963|
|17||Fredy Montero*||Forward||Seattle Sounders FC||90||953|
|18||Fredy Montero*||Forward||Seattle Sounders FC||90||951|
|19||Joe Cannon||Goalkeeper||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||949|
|20||Matt Reis||Goalkeeper||New England Revolution||90||948|
*Makes list twice based on team's two games in Week 9