SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will travel to face D.C. United on Saturday and their all-time leading goal scorer be waiting for them.
Alvaro Saborio was traded to D.C. United in exchange for midfielder Luis Silva on July 16, just two weeks ago. Saborio has already notched his first goal for his new club, scoring a 37th minute volley to kick-start United’s 3-2 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Union on Sunday.
Saborio holds the current RSL record for most goals scored with 79 across all competitions. In fact, he still leads the team in shots and shots on goal in MLS play for the 2015 season with 30 and 13 respectively.
RSL head coach, Jeff Cassar, spoke about Saborio’s debut performance for D.C. after practice on Monday morning.
“He looked very good,” Cassar said. “He looked very bright, very lively. Saborio was dangerous on crosses and all that stuff that you would expect from Sabo. Fabian [Espindola] was dangerous in his movements as well. So we’re going to have to be very organized in the back against them and aware of them at all times.”
Espindola is another RSL alumnus who will be looking to get a bit of payback against the team that traded him away to the New York Red Bulls in 2012. Defending both forwards will certainly be a tall task for the visiting Utah club, who will be looking to stretch their winning streak to four across all competitions after Saturday night victory against Sporting Kansas City.
RSL defender Aaron Maund was wary of Saborio, making it clear that it will take the entire team to neutralize the club’s most prolific scorer.
“It’s going to be a lot of communication,” Maund said. “It’s going to be two center backs who are talking the whole time. I think I know some of his tendencies, but then again he knows all of our tendencies. We’re just going to have to be honest with him and defend the ball with 11.”
Midfielder Luke Mulholland only spent a season and a half with the Costa Rican forward after signing with the Claret-and-Cobalt in 2014, but he understands just how dangerous Saborio can be.
“Well you know Saborio’s a handful. I’m sure he’ll be stepping on our defenders’ toes the whole game and giving them elbows,” Mulholland said. “He’s very physical. Technically, he’s a great forward. He’s a true No. 9 so it’s going to take a good shift from the defenders and midfielders, too. We’ve got to be careful with these types of games when you’re trading a guy to another team. They seem to play well against their old team. So hopefully we can keep him off the score sheet.”