Midseason trades are rare for Real Salt Lake, and it's even more rare that they involve first-team players. But 2015 was a year for change, better or worse, and Alvaro Saborio saw himself fall victim to that very thing when he was traded to D.C. United for Luis Silva.
Saborio scored a scant three goals for Real Salt Lake in 2015 (and four for D.C.), putting his full season's return as the lowest he's had since joining MLS in 2010. Those seven goals were still behind his 2014 season, in which he broke his foot and missed the World Cup — he scored eight goals that year.
After scoring in the second match of the season from the penalty spot, Saborio went on a six-game goalless streak. His second goal came against Chicago Fire, with a low blast from outside the area. And his third — that's the most memorable. It sealed a win against New York City FC, and it boded well for his season.
Some scoreless games later, Saborio was embroiled in an incident that may have cost him his spot at Real Salt Lake. He took a day off before a match and flew to Costa Rica for Keylor Navas's wedding — something that happens in the world of sports, certainly, and on its own, it's barely a blip.
But what happened next was much more — he missed his return flight. Now, reports on Twitter from Costa Rican media claimed it was because he was intoxicated and had been removed from the flight — or not allowed to board, at least.
Whatever happened, he missed the match for Real Salt Lake, was subject to team discipline, and shortly after, he left for the Gold Cup. He never played for RSL again.
There was no ceremonial send-off for Saborio. He was traded in July to D.C. United, where he remains to this day. He's since re-signed with them, and we'll see what his future looks like.
Saborio, the player that divided Real Salt Lake fans like nobody else, may have too often been a scapegoat for the team's woes — even when they were performing well — and almost certainly deserved a better send-off than he received, which was none at all.
But at the same time, if you had to predict how Saborio would leave Real Salt Lake, it would probably be in his typically moody, introverted way. In that way, this was perfect.