Official RSL press release on signing of ÁLVARO SABORÍO


Accomplished Striker Joins Defending MLS Cup Champions on Loan from Swiss Side FC Sion

SANDY, Utah (Friday, March 12, 2010) - Real Salt Lake made official today the acquisition of Costa Rican international forward Álvaro Saborío, who will join the defending MLS Cup champions on loan for its 2010 campaign from Swiss Super League (first division) squad FC Sion. Per club policy, financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Saborío has joined Real Salt Lake at its preseason training camp in Charleston, S.C., and will be eligible to suit up for the Claret-and-Cobalt's defense of their Carolina Challenge Cup title beginning tomorrow afternoon against D.C. United (3:00 p.m. MT kickoff). Saborío will officially join Real Salt Lake's roster and be eligible to compete in MLS contests pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and work visa.

"We are energized that our pursuit of a striker has reached a successful conclusion with the addition of Álvaro Saborío," said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. "We still have a few steps to complete in obtaining his player pass and securing a work permit, but if we are able to accomplish those steps we are cautiously optimistic Álvaro could be available to play early in the season."

More info after the jump:

Considered one of the CONCACAF region's top forwards, the 27-year-old Saborío joins Real Salt Lake with a wealth of club experience both in his native Costa Rica and in Europe. After cutting his teeth in the youth system of Mexican side Tigres, Saborío returned to Costa Rica and starred for powerhouse Club Deportivo Saprissa from 2001-06, averaging nearly two goals every three games (95 goals in 149 games) while helping "los Morados" to back-to-back CONCACAF Champions League finals appearances in 2004 and 2005, the latter in which Saprissa defeated Mexico's U.N.A.M. Pumas 3-2 on aggregate for the side's third regional title.

Saborío would make the jump to European football after signing with FC Sion, where he scored 36 goals in 87 appearances from 2006-09. Last fall, Saborío joined English Coca-Cola Championship (second division) squad Bristol City on loan for the beginning of its 2009/10 campaign, netting twice in 21 appearances before making the jump to the MLS ranks.

"I'm excited to join Real Salt Lake and look forward to a great season ahead," said Saborío. "I'm busy learning about the other players, the coaching staff and the way the club functions, and once I become comfortable in the team I expect good things to happen."

Saborío has been equally impressive for his country, representing Costa Rica on the senior level 55 times and scoring 22 goals. Saborío helped Costa Rica qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany, where he made a pair of appearances off the bench in group play. American fans will recognize Saborío from last year's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier against the United States on June 3, when his left-footed blast just 79 seconds into the match spurred the "Ticos" on to a 3-1 victory at his old club stomping grounds of the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose.

The worldly Saborío, who will fill Real Salt Lake's sixth and final available international player roster slot, should have no problem communicating with his new teammates, as "Sabo" speaks five languages fluently - English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mekatelyu - a Limonese Creole dialect spoken in Costa Rica.

TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake signs Costa Rican forward Álvaro Saborío to a Senior roster contract as an International player.


Position: Forward
Height: 6'0" Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: March 25, 1982 in Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica

Hometown: San Carlos, Costa Rica

Citizenship: Costa Rica

MLS Experience: 1st Season
Last club: Bristol City FC [English Coca-Cola Championship (Second Division)] (2009)


RSL: Added to roster on loan from Swiss First Division side FC Sion as an International Player on 3/12/10

International Club Career

2001-06: Club Deportivo Saprissa - Costa Rica (Primera División de Costa Rica): Saborío's career at CD Saprissa totaled 149 appearances and 95 goals, scoring an average of two goals every three games ... Helped Saprissa reach the CONCACAF Champions Cup final in back-to-back years, winning the 2005 title over Mexican side UNAM (Pumas) (3-2 agg.) a year after dropping the series to fellow Costa Rican side Alajuelense ... Was Saprissa's leading scorer in the Costa Rican First Division's 2003-04 season, when he logged 25 tallies ... Twice helped Saprissa to Primera División de Costa Rica titles in 2003-04 and 2005-06 ...

2006-09: FC Sion - Switzerland (Swiss Super League): Netted 36 goals in 87 appearances during his stay with the Swiss team ... The 2007-08 year was Saborío's strongest statistical year abroad, when he logged 34 appearances and 17 goals ... Helped FC Sion achieve the 2008-09 Swiss Cup crown in May of 2009 ... Was loaned out to Bristol FC in fall 2009 ...

2009-10: Bristol City FC - England (Football Championship League): Made 19 appearances for Bristol City in their 2009-10 campaign after joining the Robins on loan in September 2009 ... Made an immediate impact in his debut on 9/12/09 v. Coventry, logging an assist on Nick Maynard's equalizer (48') in the 1-1 draw ...

Costa Rican National Team

For the better part of the last decade, Saborío has proven to be an important player for the Costa Rican National Team at various levels ... Represented the U-23 "Ticos" team at the 2004 Olympics, scoring the Qualifying goal that advanced Costa Rica ... In Sydney, Saborío started three of the team's four games, scoring a goal against Portugal ... Parlaying that performance into consistency for Costa Rica's full National Team, Saborío appeared prominently during 2006 World Cup Qualifying ... Better known as "Sabo" or "le Gigì," the striker appeared twice for Costa Rica in Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, totaling 73 minutes in a pair of losses as a substitute for Rónald Gómez and Paulo César Wanchope ... Saborío has 55 caps for Costa Rica, scoring 22 goals as of Feb. 2010 ... His stunning goal just 79 seconds into last summer's 3-1 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying win over the U.S. in San Jose, Costa Rica is the second-fastest goal the U.S. has ever allowed during qualifying rounds ...


Álvaro Alberto Saborío Chacón was born March 25, 1982 in Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica ... Can speak five languages: Mekatelyu (Limonese Creole), Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English.

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