There was no luxury liner or iceberg to be found at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, but Real Salt Lake got a dose of “Titanic” romance just the same.
Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo’s long-range strike was the most memorable moment of RSL’s 3-0 win over Toronto FC – and not only for the quality of the goal, but also the way he chose to celebrate it. The RSL Homegrown made his way to the sidelines and leaped into the arms of his head coach, Mike Petke, with a wide grin.
OH MY BOFO 👀 pic.twitter.com/iv5rYU7IOj— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) May 18, 2019
“It was like 'Titanic' with music playing in the background,” wisecracked Petke postgame. “It was a beautiful embrace.”
The celebration, he explained, was a manifestation of a long, honest relationship between player and coach, with Petke having urged the undoubtedly talented but often inconsistent Saucedo to step up his game over the offseason.
“I think that’s an interesting moment because of the conversations that we had and him getting it,” said Petke. “Now does that mean Bofo is going to start next game? No, we have five days of practice in between that will determine that. I’m happy for Bofo, the last two games he’s had success, he’s done well, the most important is the next game, the next action, the next practice, the next minute. That’s what Bofo needs to keep realizing.”
Still only 22 but now in his fifth professional season, Bofo explained the value of Petke’s guidance in his postgame remarks:
Everyone at RSL will be hoping that Saturday's golazo, the first of the season for Saucedo and the fourth of his MLS career, marks another step forward in his career.
“He is somebody I’ve had since I had gotten here. He’s a young player and he realizes that I’m willing to give opportunities for many different reasons,” said Petke. “Bofo earned this opportunity coming back to preseason this year with an unbelievable attitude. He has quality playing ahead of him right now; international quality at times, with specifically [Jefferson] Savarino and [Joao] Plata. When his opportunity comes, he needs to take it, and we made a switch for him to come in and two games now, I’m very happy with how he’s played.”