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Player Profiles, #9: Alvaro Saborio suffers foot fracture, finds return tough

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Today we look at Real Salt Lake's all-time leading, scorer, Alvaro Saborio. Was he able to keep pace in 2014 considering he had a foot injury that kept him out for months?

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In the 2014 season, Alvaro Saborio saw fewer minutes than he had in any previous season with Real Salt Lake but still notched solid numbers with eight goals and two assists.

The vast majority of that took place before suffering a foot fracture in late May. That injury kept him out from May until September, causing him to miss the World Cup.

That is to say, he was on track to have one of the best seasons of his career. My estimation is that going forward, Saborio will be as good or better than ever. The prime example for this is Javier Morales who suffered an even more serious injury and surprised everyone when he was again at full strength with how well he played.

Alvaro Saborio had a great return from injury scoring on his first touch back to secure a win for Real Salt Lake against FC Dallas. RSL finished the season just ahead of FC Dallas which allowed them to qualify for CONCACAF Champions League.

This could very well be credited to the fantastic return that Saborio had. Saborio was unable to return to pre-injury form after his return, however, and didn't quite look like the Saborio that many of us are used to.

Some fans have criticized Saborio throughout the 2014 season and before that he does not work hard enough or will go as far as to say he is lazy. This argument really seems absurd considering the stat lines that Saborio has put up every year in Salt Lake City and how quickly he returned from his foot fracture injury.

Every indication from players and the front office was that nobody worked harder to return from injury than Saborio did. If RSL fans prefer a pure hustling, hard-worker over anything else, they do not understand what it takes to be a successful forward in MLS or around the world. I can't think of one instance in which Sabo would have scored a goal if he ran a bit harder. I can think of well over 60 instances that Saborio's quality came through and led to goals.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.