SANDY— When Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio took the field Saturday night, a sense of relief with added excitement filled Rio Tinto Stadium.
The forward came on in the 62nd minute, and had netted the first goal of the match in the 78th minute, but RSL manager Jason Kreis delivered some troubling news to the media postgame — Saborio may have re-aggravated his quad injury.
"It was his left quadriceps injury that we've been dealing with, and I think that he may have re-tweaked it on that very first left-footed shot over the goalkeeper," admitted Kreis.
Only time will tell if the Costa Rican can suit up for the Claret-and-Cobalt, but it couldn't have come at a worst time with Kreis & Co. set to host a possible six matches at home. Half of those game will be in the hands of Real, should they advance in the U.S. Open Cup.
Saborio addressed the media after the game, and was optimistic about moving past the quad injury.
"It's a little sore right now, but I don't think that it feels as bad as the last one," said Saborio. "So hopefully it's not too much."
The forward leads the team with four goals this season, and would be sorely missed if the injury continues to linger.
CUP OR BUST: Kreis didn't mince words with reporters of his desire for a successful run in the upcoming Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
"We want to win it, I want to win it, the club wants to win it, and hopefully the players want to win it," declared Kreis.
Last years tournament saw the Claret-and-Cobalt bounced after a lackluster performance at home. A record setting crowd of 17,212 watched the NASL's Minnesota Stars deliver a 3-1 thrashing of the home team.
"I think the first thing is to remind the players of that, because that was a dreadful night— one of the worst in the history of this club, in my opinion," said Kreis. "That's unacceptable, and we're going to take a very aggressive approach to the tournament this year."
Offering many opportunities, the crown jewel of winning the Open Cup is a guaranteed spot in CONCACAF Champions League— one of four spots awarded to MLS clubs.
"It's a chance at a tournament, a chance at a trophy, a chance at the allocation money, and a chance to get ourselves back in CONCACAF— there's a lot of good things about the tournament. Knowing that we would have the first two games at home could put us in a really good place.
RSL fans surely haven't forgotten the teams' success in the 2010-11 tournament, when the lads in Claret-and-Cobalt finished in second place at the hands of Mexican powerhouse Monterrey.
RSL still remain the only team in MLS to reach the Championship match of the tournament.Comment on this story
REACHING A MILESTONE: Nat Borchers and Kyle Beckerman played in their 209th match together, passing former New England teammates Sharlie Joseph and Matt Reis.
"Nat and Kyle have been irreplaceable and unbelievably important to us, as a franchise," said Kreis. "They're the core of our team; a center back and a hold midfielder—add an attacking midfielder in (Javier) Morales and a goalkeeper in (Nick) Rimando, and you've got a really nice spine for your team."
"Those guys have showed the longevity they have, and I'm very pleased to have them on my team."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: TheConner88