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Real Salt Lake notebook: Did Alvaro Saborio dive for PK?

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 4:32 a.m. MDT

RSL's Jamison Olave, bottom, is embraced by teammate Nat Borchers after Olave's goal.     (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) RSL's Jamison Olave, bottom, is embraced by teammate Nat Borchers after Olave's goal. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SANDY — Did he dive or didn't he?

That was the big question after Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio went down far too easily in the box in the 60th minute against San Jose.

It sure looked like a flop on TV replays rather than a foul by San Jose defender Bobby Burling, but referee David Gantar was convinced as he awarded the all-important penalty kick.

If Saborio did dive, it wasn't the first and won't be the last time an MLS player dives to win a penalty kick. But considering what a big deal Real Salt Lake made about Charlie Davies' dive with D.C. United last month, it seems a bit ironic that one of its own players would blatantly do the same thing.

RSL coach Jason Kreis agreed if indeed it was a dive.

"I think I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I look at the film and see that Sabo embellished it and dove, I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I don't speak to Sabo myself," said Kreis. "I was very clear in my admonishment of Charlie Davies, so if it's my player I think it's my responsibility to speak to that player and say I don't like that."

Regardless of what he thinks, Kreis said the decision by the referee helps even out some unfortunately calls earlier this year.

"You hope over the course of the season that some bounces are going to go your way, some decisions are going to go your way, and tonight was one," he said.

BACK TOGETHER: Saturday night marked the first time since May 7 that RSL first choice strikers Saborio and Fabian Espindola were both in the starting lineup together.

The two paired up relatively well despite the unfamiliarity on Saturday.

Even though Saturday's match was just the fourth league game Espindola and Saborio have started together this year, the strike partners did start all six games during RSL's run through the Champions League earlier this year.

Since May 7 though, one of the two has either been injured or away on national team duty.

HOPPING MAD: There was a pretty heated exchange between Kreis and San Jose keeper Jon Busch in the Rio Tinto Stadium tunnel after the match. Kreis summed it up pretty succinctly.

"Jon came and said something to me about my comment, a comment I didn't very much appreciate, and then he walked away very quickly before he gave a chance to respond, so I felt it necessary he should hear my response," said Kreis.

Busch clearly wasn't pleased with the penalty kick decision, and was even caught on TV making an inappropriate gesture with his hand.

AND THEY'RE OFF: Kyle Beckerman and Jamison Olave will leave today for New York City to join their MLS All-Stars in preparation for Wednesday's match against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena.

Olave started last year's All-Star Game against Man. U. and is a good bet to start again.

Neither player will likely play more than 45 minutes, which means they could be available for Real Salt Lake next weekend when it takes on Columbus at Rio Tinto Stadium.

GIL HEADING OUT: RSL 18-year-old midfielder Luis Gil will also be leaving Real Salt Lake today to participate with the U.S. Under-18 National Team in the 29th-annual Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.

The U.S. is scheduled to play Israel on Monday and then Mexico on Wednesday. If the U.S. advances to the knockout round, Gil will be unavailable for RSL's home match against Columbus on July 30.

Under normal circumstances, Gil would've already left for Europe, but RSL wanted to have him available for Saturday's match with San Jose.

Gil's string of three straight starts came to an end Saturday, but he entered the game as a sub in the 82nd minute.

email: jedward@desnews.com

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