Top Stories

Saborio dive mars RSL blowout win over San Jose

AlvaroSaborio (Getty)

Real Salt Lake is one of the top teams in MLS, and might have been in their way to another victory against struggling San Jose, but when Alvaro Saborio took a dive in the penalty area, earning a PK and a red card for San Jose's Bobby Burling, the matches outcome was all but decided.

RSL took full advantage of the sequence, with Saborio converting the penalty as Real Salt Lake rolled to a 4-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.

The controversial dive had San Jose players fuming and even RSL fans unhappy with their own player. Tempers even boiled o

Here are the match highlights, where you can see the Saborio dive at 2:36 and 3:36.

What did you think of the match? Think Saborio should be suspended? Surprised to see an RSL player take a dive?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. If it was a dive it makes the ref look bad. What stops the refs from doing their own “policing” and make sure Saborio does not get another call the reason of the season ? That should send a message to the players about diving.

  2. Saborio should be suspended and Burling should have his suspension lifted. I mean, it’s pretty damn obvious it was a dive.

  3. Don’t forget to rescind the red card to Borchers for the game he missed, take a point from New England, give 2 to RSL. Take a point from DC United, give 2 to RSL. Take a point from DC United, give 2 to LA Galaxy. Where else have the officials gone wrong? I can’t remember, but we’ll need to go back and correct everything.

    Pretty much suspend Davies for the rest of the season too.

    Let’s pull up the archives and see who else to suspend.

  4. Ahhh, yes. I seem to remember RSL fans taking extreme offense to the Davies dive claiming that RSL players are too high of character to do any such thing. It only took two weeks to prove them wrong!

  5. Live in the stadium from where you were — probably the same distance from the play as the ref. who couldn’t keep up with the speedy play of RSL.

    SJ was getting spanked before the bogus call, but were toughing it out and holding on. The double insult lead to a full whipping. Maybe they can take from this a first hand demonstration in how to play a man up they certainly never have shown that skill themselves.

  6. I saw that, and was glad that nothing came of hit. Grabovoy clearly got hit, but there was no intent and he had no business being anywhere near Ring in that situation.

    The natural consequence was perfect.

  7. Nope .. the player’s offense was much worse than the referee’s.

    The referee made an error in judgment. The player deliberately cheated. The deliberate cheating needs to be harshly dealt with .. my thoughts are in other posts.

    The referee should suffer consequences for the error, perhaps a few weeks sitting or refereeing at a lower division.

  8. I despise diving .. it is an affront to the game.

    The punishment for diving needs to be harsh enough to make it not worth the risk for the player to dive. It needs to *at least* offset the outcome for a dive that is bought by the refs.

    In this case, that would mean suspension longer than the suspension for the undeserved Red, and a substantial fine.

    I would also rescind the red card, deduct two points from RSL and give a point to SJ.

  9. Hopefully, it isn’t that bad. Burling’s red should be rescinded, and most likely Ring and Busch will receive token fines, which would be deserved, rather than suspensions.

  10. Seriously?

    Waving your rear end in the general direction of another player is not a foul. There was nothing but incidental contact. That play isn’t a foul in AYSO, let alone in MLS.

    Saborio overhit the ball, and dove when he saw he wouldn’t get it before the goalie. The ref team bought it. End of story.

  11. Makes sense, except that after Davies’ dive cost RSL a couple of points earlier in the month, Kreis stated that he wouldn’t tolerate it from his team.

  12. The punishment to the player and to the organization has to be harsh enough that it becomes not worth the risk to dive. That is the only way to end diving.

    The ref team gets a couple of weeks down a level for buying the dive.

    The diver needs to be suspended longer than the suspension for the undeserved red card, and fined at least his wage for the game when the dive took place.

    I would like to see the 3 points deducted as well, but that is asking a lot.

  13. Sorry, Ives. Watch the replay on MLSSOCCER. At time about 3:33, Burling plays Sabo and slows down to clip Sabo. Burling played Sabo and sticks out his rear end while slowing down to play Sabo and contacts Sabo. Burling fouls, thats a Red and a penalty.

  14. Are you kidding me? RSL list your respect last night. There is not a team anywhere in the world that would suspend it’s own player for diving. Yes it was a dive, and something needs to be done about it. However you are crazy if you think the punishment should come from RSL. Please give me any example of a team punishing it’s own player for simulation.

  15. Seriously? This has to be sarcasm, or really rosie glasses.

    Any contact on that play was incidental. Saborio nicely cut the ball between Ring and Burling, but hit it too hard. When he saw that Busch was going to get the ball, he locked his knees and went down.

    From the replays, it was clearly cheating. Given the angles, I can see how the referee called the foul. I don’t see how the AR didn’t see the space between Saborio and both defenders.

    Where he got the red, I’ll never know. It wasn’t a DOGSO, because Saborio had already given the ball away.

  16. Not necessary .. the ref caught it and there was no negative outcome to the game. Dives properly handled are not the problem. Dives that succeed are the problem.

    For the player, it should be far worse to get away with a dive than to be caught diving.

  17. Sure, the referee team made an error, and there should be consequences to them.

    But deliberate cheating by the player is far more serious than a judgment error by the referee. That’s like saying that the store security guard should be fired for letting the shoplifter out of the store, but the shoplifter should only be lightly punished because the security guard made an error.

    Diving that are not properly addressed during the game should receive *MORE* punishment. That is the only way to eliminate them.

    Saborio should be punished severely enough that next time, he will not trade the red, the PK, and the win for the punishment.

  18. Seriously everyone? Seriously why the hate? Have none of you read the rule book? When a player plays an opposing player instead of the ball, that is obstruction, and that is exactly what Burling did. He ran into Sabo’s running line without an attempt on the ball. Sabo cut back, but Burling stuck his rear end out to knock Sabo off balance. That is what happened. Watch it again, and watch the replays. So, none of you see Burling stick his rear end out after he passes and Sabo cuts? Really. Then you all had pre-conceived notions of the play. Ives, go watch again. Burling fouls Sabo, Sabo does go down easy, but it is still a foul. Obstruction plus a foul rear end leads to a penalty.

  19. Yes, this one looked OK at full speed.

    These kind of dives, that look good and actually fool the referee, are EXACTLY the ones that should be punished most severely.

    Diving is an affront to the game.

    Saborio should be suspended for at least 3 games, the 3 points deducted, the red card rescinded, and the referees directed to evaluate future incidents with Saborio as if he is diving unless it is clear that he isn’t.

  20. Busch has proven repeatedly throughout his career that he’s a buffoon. The guy has displayed little class in Columbus, Chicago and now in San Jose. Dives happen all over the world – but the reaction of Busch (the middle finger, the hit-and-run altercation with Kreis), now in mind THAT deserves a suspension.


Leave a Comment