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Saborio brace propels RSL in dominant win vs. TFC

Alvaro Saborio


SANDY, Utah -Toronto FC arrived at Rio Tinto Stadium with a perfect 2-0 record and a growing reputation as a powerhouse team capable of being a title contender.

Real Salt Lake provided a clear reminder that TFC has a way to go before it can join RSL in the select category of true MLS Cup candidate, overwhelming Toronto FC on their way to a 3-0 victory on Saturday. A brace from RSL forward Alvaro Saborio and another goal from midfielder Luis Gil was more than enough to earn three points in a decidedly one-sided, 3-0 victory.

Saborio highlighted a dominant offensive performance for RSL when he ran on to a ball, chipped it with the outside of his foot and over the left shoulder of Toronto goalkeeper Julio Cesar. The shot glanced off the post and into the net, putting an exclamation point on the veteran forward’s night.

He had already secured his first goal of the match earlier in the game from the penalty spot. It was the Costa Rican himself who drew the PK after Toronto defender, Doneil Henry, pulled him down just inside the box. Saborio calmly stepped to the spot and slotted the ball home, sending the home crowd into a frenzy in just the 11th minute.

RSL head coach Jeff Cassar stressed the importance of getting the early goal and explained that it was an emphasis of the coaching staff’s leading up to the game.

“It was huge,” Cassar said. “It was something that myself and the coaches really stressed to the guys. TFC has never had to come back. They’ve had the lead in all of their games. So we really wanted to see what they would be like if they were under the gun.”

RSL’s offense was much more lively and creative tonight thanks to Saborio’s early goal. It didn’t hurt that U.S. Men’s National Team Coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, was in attendance either.

Midfielder Luis Gil, who was called into the USMNT contributed to the goalfest in the 28th minute, capitalizing on one of the many beautiful passing sequences from the home side when Wingert’s deflected cross made its way to him. Gil put a boot to it and Cesar was unable to save the shot as it bounced over his legs and into the goal.

When asked if Klinsmann’s presence was a contributing factor to his performance, Gil replied that it didn’t cross his mind.

“I didn’t think of it, but it was good just to get a goal in general. It probably wasn’t the prettiest goal but you gotta shoot to score so I’ll take it.”

RSL seemed to relish playing the role of wake up call for a star-studded Toronto FC side that had never trailed in their two previous matches. RSL defender Nat Borchers stressed that it wasn’t so much about taking Toronto down a peg but more about reminding everyone that Salt Lake is still a force to be reckoned with.

“I think there was a lot of hype and a lot of things said in the press, but it’s another game for us and another opportunity to show what a good team we are. I thought we did that tonight.”

Here are the match highlights:


  1. The second goal took a deflection. The keeper would have saved the shot, if it didn’t. With that said, great passing and lead up to the shot (with a lucky bounce too).

  2. One of the most dominant mid-field performances I have ever seen in MLS. Gil, Morales and Beckerman were really, really good tonight. It is a shame that this was not the nationally televised game of the week. It was an extremely entertaining game that highlighted the best passing that can be seen in MLS. The quick and creative passing was just beautiful to watch.

    It was a really fun atmosphere and just a great game to watch as a soccer fan. I know people think Gil is a long shot for Brazil, but he is playing amazing soccer right now. He dominated LAG last week and really took it to Donovan. This week, he contributed with Morales to make Bradley look very average.

    • the thing about gil is if he sign with arsenal earlier when he had the chance everybody would have been on his bandwagon like julian green, but since he plays in MLS they dont believe he could be that good. The kid has alot of technical ability

    • RSL looked awesome as a team, especially Morales and Saborio. Morales was far and away MOTM IMO, but Bradley looked anything but average. He could have easily had 2-3 assists in the first half with some finishing and put in a really nice stinging, dipping shot off the inside of the post that froze Rimando. He missed Osorio a lot, though, ESP defensively. Hall looked lost out there.

  3. Great win for RSL. What a game by javi morales and sabo. Beckerman looked to have a great game springing javi in the attack. People forget that he’s not one dimensional in mls.


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