Real Salt Lake signs Saborio as Designated Player

Saborio (Reuters)

Heading into the offseason, one of the biggest items on Real Salt Lake's to do list was to retain the services of on loan striker and Costa Rican international Alvaro Saborio.

On Wednesday, that iten can now be checked off. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that RSL has come to an agreement with Saborio, and the clubs that formerly held his rights, Sion in Switzerland, and Sarpissa in Costa Rica, in order to sign Saborio and add him as the club's first Designated Player.

The 28-year-old striker joined RSL on loan prior to the 2010 season, playing a big role in both domestic and CONCACAF Champions League campaigns. He scored 18 goals in all competitions, while making 29 appearances. Saborio is currently recovering from minor knee surgery. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the length of the deal is reported as four years.

What do you think of RSL's move? Is it a good one? Will Saborio continue to have an impact?

Share your thoughts below.

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32 Responses to Real Salt Lake signs Saborio as Designated Player

  1. Skinnyj says:

    He had a pretty good year. He is not overly fast, physical, or technical but he is a goal poacher and great in the air. We hope he continues to play hard now that he has his contract. Not sure if he is worth that much money (estimated), but we lost 2 of the best strikers in the league 2 years in a row (Yura and Findley- dont laugh he just had a rough go since WC), and couldnt lose another. Now if Garth can get Paulo off his loan we will be set for another run.

  2. Advocate says:

    Fantastic move; not a flashy player, but a very valuable one for RSL.

    He’s still in his prime, and should only improve his scoring rate in MLS play if service continues to hold up.

  3. zacalie says:

    This is fantastic news!!

  4. Advocate says:

    Now to see if Seattle’s announcement truly is Montero signing as DP….

    That would make two DP signings in a day. Not bad ones, either, in my opinion.

  5. Aristophanes says:

    I like this signing. It makes a lot more sense to me, both economically and tactically, for the Major League to focus on stars from this hemisphere – like Saborio, Donovan, Montero – instead of importing aging stars from Europe.

    If MLS could be a real destination league for North, Central, and South Americans who are not quite stars in the European league, the quality here would vastly improve. This may be where the peak future of MLS lies, i.e., as the highest league in the Western Hemisphere.

  6. nonya biz says:

    Its terrific. Hopefully this is how most teams will use their DP slots, as a means to keep a player who has actually proven his worth.

  7. Idaho Brian says:

    Great news for both RSL and the league. I think Saborio has the skills to be one of the most productive forwards in the league. I’m thrilled to be able to see him at Rio Tinto again next spring.

  8. CSD says:

    In 2 and a half months RSL plays Columbus in the Champions League. Maybe Columbus should get some Scandinavian players on loan for those two winter matches. Right now it isn’t really looking like a fair fight. RSL pretty much the same team that ended the season vs a Columbus team minus something like 5 starters.

  9. CSD says:

    “But Saborio certainly will become the highest-paid player in team history…”

    There is no information indicating that this is a true statement. The transfer fee is counted against his salary number most likely pushing him to a DP status. Last year he made 128k, Beckerman made 250k. Javier Morales made 252k.

  10. Bill says:

    fantastic move! He’s talent and productive. Most importantly, from my perspective, it is the best way to introduce a DP to the team – try before you buy/promotion.

    I’d like to see some gringo’s be considered for this vs jumping ship and bench-riding in europe. Is Altidore really better sitting there vs playing here? (TBD)

  11. zacalie says:

    He already is one of the most productive forwards in the league…agreed, though, great to have him back.

  12. Vince Clortho says:

    To the tune of that Doctor Who tune:

    Al-Va-Ro! oi! Sabo-rio!
    Al-Va-Ro! oi! Sabo-rio!
    Al-Va-Ro! oi! Sa-bo-rio!

  13. Linesman #3 says:

    Great signing by RSL. Saborio was very productive despite being hurt for much of the year. He fits the team.

  14. SoccerLee says:

    YEA!! YEA!! YEA!!

    Now we jsut need to lock down Paulo Jr

  15. The Busdriver says:

    As a Rapids fan I am glad for RSL. I think he is a fantastic player and is great for their team. He is fun to watch and hard to contain. Good use of the DP.

  16. sciroccer says:

    I just offically decided to renew my seats! I sense a 2011 golden boot in his future. He is an incredible player. I can’t wait to see him play after he’s had his knee fixed, and an offseason. He already fits RSL perfectly! Brillant job Garth/Bill/Jason!!!

  17. Kejsare says:

    I’ve considered this possibility as well, if the US can be the destination for talent south of the border the US league will become quality. We’re already benefiting from immigrants and their progeny [as well other American-born playing for Central american national teams], we just need to make the next step and gather more talent from South America.

  18. MensreaJim says:

    This was the first thing that came to mind. Getting CONCACAF’s big but not huge players is a great player acquisition goal for MLS teams.

    I don’t know at what point we’ll be able to consistently compete for Brazillian and Argentine 2nd-tier players (though you could argue we are making progress based on this season), but Dallas certainly has really benefitted from its nose for players from Colombia.

    Also, good players (check) who don’t break the bank (presumably) are generally how you win in any sport.

  19. Derek says:

    Seattle just announced the signing of Montero as a DP as well.

  20. Matt says:

    Somewhere, Javy Morales is sulking.

  21. Mattmatumbo says:

    Javi? Why?

  22. timothy says:

    Time for Rapids to follow suit and announce Omar Cummings as a DP…

    He’s worth it.

  23. Mattmatumbo says:

    It’s about time the league started signing DP contracts to players who have earned them. Donovan and Angel earned there’s as well, i know this.

  24. Aristophanes says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve been thinking. Dos Santos, Vela come to mind. Of course, they’re probably making a lot more money over there.

  25. Matt says:

    He’s played like a DP for the past 2 years, I would expect him to want a raise too.

  26. Mattmatumbo says:

    He has the best salary on the team, that i know of. 352k, which is 2k better than Beckerman. I wouldn’t doubt it if Sabo is up there now, but Lagerway and Kreis have stated that changes in pay scale amongst players can be a bad thing.

  27. BrooklynFC says:

    Good call on that one.

  28. BrooklynFC says:

    word up to that…. pay your top player top money it just makes sense

  29. JoeW says:

    A good goal scorer is worth his weight in gold with probably some platinum tossed in. A good goal scorer allows teams to win games against the run of play, to play poorly or undermanned and still stay in the match. Not having a good finisher produces a lot of games where a team creates lots of chances with nothing to show for them, games where you outplay the opposition and still lose. And those are demoralizing games. So finishers are huge assets.

    That said…DCU did the same thing with Luciano Emilio (who wasn’t overly fast, not especially tall, was a great goal poacher and finisher) and we all see where that ended up. It’s very rare to see a Roy Makaay or Elber who may not be one of the world’s best players but just consistently finishes and finishes and finishes.

  30. hincha tim says:

    Actually Javi and Beckerman’s salaries are 252K and 250k respectively. The implication from RSL’s press release is that Sabo will not be getting paid the league max but will become a DP because the transfer fee is “Due to fees associated with Saborio’s acquisition, he becomes RSL’s first-ever “Designated Player” under Major League Soccer’s roster and salary compliance guidelines.”

  31. Hincha Tim says:

    This should answer your question: From Keeping it Real Blog: “According to Coach Jason Kreis the DP status will be taken in stride by his teammates, even though the mantra for the team is the “Team is the Star.” According to the coach, the reason it will be easy for the team to accept is that “they all know that the reason he’s a DP is because of the acquisition fee”, and the coach added, “I think his salary puts him right in the middle”; meaning in the same general ballpark as a number of the starters.”

  32. StevenG says:

    lol Findley.