Real Salt Lake will be without their leading scorer in the second leg of the Western Conference Championship, but that's nothing new for the team this season.
Head coach Jason Kreis told reporters on a conference call on Friday that Álvaro Saborío will not make the trip to Portland for the second leg of his team's series with the Timbers on Sunday as they try to hang on to a two-goal aggregate lead and advance to MLS Cup (9 pm ET, ESPN, ESPN Deportes).
Saborío, who suffered a pulled muscle with 10 minutes remaining in RSL's 2-0 extratime victory over the LA Galaxy in the Conference Semifinals on Nov. 7, has been jogging around the field in practice this week, but still hasn't gotten on the field.
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That's a familiar refrain for the team. Though Saborío leads Real Salt Lake in scoring this season with 12 goals, he has played in just 16 of 34 league games due to a combination of injuries and international duty.
And RSL, whose 57 regular-season goals was second only to New York's 58 in 2013, have spread the scoring around. Thirteen players put the ball in the net during the regular season, and two more joined them in the playoffs.
In the first leg of the series against the Timbers, rookie forward Devon Sandoval stepped in for Saborío and played one of his best games of the season. His goal in the 48th minute proved to be the game winner in Salt Lake's 4-2 win over Portland.
Saborío's season might not be over, however, if RSL can hang onto the two-goal lead. Kreis indicated that, with another two-week break before the MLS Cup final, the Costa Rican international could have time to get back into shape.