Alvaro Saborio has been definitively ruled out for the second leg of the Western Conference Final against Portland Timbers after unable to sufficiently recover from a hip flexor injury sustained in the second leg against LA Galaxy.
This leaves Real Salt Lake again without Saborio, having played without him in the first leg and throughout more than half of the regular season. His absence comes as a bit of a blow, given he is a considerable goalscoring threat at all times, but more than ever, the team will feel confident playing without him.
This is in sharp contrast to times as recently as last year, when we looked lost without Saborio at the fore. Real Salt Lake's ability to adapt has proven important to their fortunes.
Devon Sandoval seems likely the first choice to start in Saborio's stead, presenting some similar characteristics that make him a good option. That the 2013 second-round draft pick has been a strong figure at this point in the season speaks highly of his ability and his character.