Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
SANDY — Like any striker, Alvaro Saborio has endured his share of ups and downs during his tenure with Real Salt Lake.
As he returns to his club following a three-week stint with the Costa Rican National Team, Saborio is arguably enjoying his best form in nearly two years.
In his last four games with RSL before departing for Costa Rica, Saborio scored four goals, including a pair in his most recent match against FC Dallas. In two World Cup qualifying games over the past week, Saborio tacked on four more goals, highlighted by his hat trick at Guyana on Tuesday.
It was the first road hat trick in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying history.
Jason Kreis hopes that trend continues now that Saborio has rejoined Real Salt Lake.
"I think we're going to see Sabo at his absolute highest level of confidence. Any time that I went with the national team, the one time I actually scored a goal, I came back feeling like I was a world beater and had a nice spell with my club team," said Kreis. "I'm hopeful for the same thing (with Saborio)."
Saborio scored all three goals against Guyana in the first 52 minutes, and he was eventually subbed out in the 80th minute.
Kreis watched the Costa Rica-Guyana qualifier on television, and was particularly pleased with Saborio's movement and his fighting spirit.
As first-place Real Salt Lake jumps back into league play this Saturday at Chivas USA following a two-week FIFA break, Nat Borchers said Saborio's confident return is fantastic news.
"Seeing Sabo score a hat trick for a country means he's going to be brimming with confidence. We need that," said Borchers.
Saborio is one of four Real Salt Lake players returning from international duty this week, and one of two who saw plenty of time on the field.
Saborio played 90 and 80 minutes respectively in Costa Rica's tie and win, while Will Johnson played 90 minutes in each of Canada's matches — a 1-0 win at Cuba and a 0-0 draw at home to Honduras.
Nick Rimando didn't feature in either U.S. National Team qualifier, while Kyle Beckerman made a brief one-minute appearance for the Yanks in their match at Guatemala on Tuesday.
Regardless of their respective playing time, Ned Grabavoy expects all four to be sharp and confident in their return to Real Salt Lake.
"All those guys were successful the last two weeks if you look at their results. Each team got a win and a tie. Maybe they're coming back feeling good about the three weeks of work they've put in with a different team," said Grabavoy.
RSL won't need to worry about its national team contingent leaving anytime soon. The next wave of World Cup qualifying matches aren't until Sept. 7.
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