Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio a happy camper in Utah

Published: Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:55 p.m. MDT

“I’m sure he’s probably frustrated he’s not scoring as much as he typically does, but what I’m really proud of Sabo is his work rate. He’s been putting it in on both sides of the field, and you’re seeing a good team result. It might not show up on the score sheet for him, but it’s sure showing up on our score sheet,” said Cassar.

Cassar believes a difficult stretch that included four early road games impacted Saborio’s productivity as well.

“We’ve had a lot of tough games, a lot of road games where you’re not going to go out and outscore opponents, so hopefully we can get him on track this weekend,” said Cassar.

After this weekend’s home match against Vancouver, Real Salt Lake will only have Saborio’s services for two more matches before he departs for World Cup preparation — give or take a few days because of the new baby boy.

Saborio hasn’t recorded a shot on goal, much less a goal, in two of the past three matches, something you can bet he’s keen on improving before shifting his focus to Costa Rica this summer and a brutal World Cup draw. The Ticos were lumped into Group D with Uruguay, Italy and England.

“I always try to improve my fitness and my game in the Real Salt Lake games, and this will help me for the next step in the world Cup,” said Saborio.

Costa Rica is the afterthought team in its group after missing out on the 2010 World Cup, and as one website said, “With other teams in Group D battling it out, it’d be a miracle story if Costa Rica was able to advance.”

Unlike his previous foray at the World Cup back in 2006, when then 24-year-old Saborio was an up-and-coming goal-scoring machine who no doubt felt the weight of a nation, this summer is different. He’s married, will be a new father, and at 32 knows he probably only has a few more productive playing years remaining.

Lagerwey wouldn’t be surprised if Saborio channeled all that into a productive trip to Brazil. Whether it was the MLS Cup last year, the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal in Saprissa in 2011, or several other playoff and CCL goals in his career, Lagerwey said Saborio has a knack for scoring the big goals.

“That’s just not easy. It’s a very, very hard thing to do that he does, and I think he does it as well if not better than anybody else in our league,” said Lagerwey.

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