MLS

Saborio scores twice in RSL victory

Nat Borchers Kyle Beckerman RSL v Toronto
Nat Borchers is embraced by Kyle Beckerman after scoring for RSL.
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Alvaro Saborio finally found his offensive form after struggling in Gold Cup action with Costa Rica, scoring twice to lift Real Salt Lake to a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

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Nat Borchers also scored to help Salt Lake (7-3-5) snap a four-game winless streak. It offered a much needed positive result for RSL, which hasn't been the same team since losing Javier Morales to a season-ending ankle injury.

Borchers classified it as a ''must win game'' for Salt Lake.

''If we come out of this game with a tie or loss and we're definitely looking at ourselves in the mirror and asking a lot of questions,'' Borchers said. ''I think we're very, very happy with this result and we can move forward with some confidence.''

Salt Lake struck first in the 39th minute on Borchers' header off Kyle Beckerman's corner kick.

Saborio made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute, tracking down a bouncing cross from Beckerman and tapping it across the line. He added his second goal of the game in the 60th minute after tracking down a lob pass from Robbie Russell deep in the box and slotting it inside the right post.

Scoring his first two goals in regular season MLS play offered a nice form of redemption for Saborio after a dismal CONCACAF Gold Cup performance against Honduras. His missed penalty kicks caused Costa Rica to get eliminated from the tournament.

No such finishing issues followed him back to Utah.

''The contribution that Alvaro made for us tonight was hugely important for us, but probably more important for him,'' RSL coach Jason Kreis said. ''I think we're both going to be benefactors of that (performance) - certainly in tonight's game and, hopefully, in games going forward.''

Kreis credited Saborio for looking like the striker who regularly terrorized opponents last season. He battled for balls down low and routinely put himself in scoring position.

''You didn't see any fear in the way he put himself in the box tonight, which I think I had seen a little bit over the first quarter of the season,'' Kreis said.

Toronto (2-7-9) scored in the 66th minute when Malcom Santos slipped by Jamison Olave and blasted a shot past goalkeeper Nick Rimando's left side.

RSL had little trouble controlling possession and attacking Toronto's goal from the early moments of the match. The team's aggressiveness nearly paid off early. Only a stunning save by goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 15th minute kept Salt Lake from getting on the scoreboard earlier.

Collen Warner sidestepped a defender and blasted a right-footed shot from the left side of the box. Frei got a fingertip on the ball as it neared the bottom left corner and stopped it at the line to deny Warner his first career MLS goal. Danleigh Borman cleared the ball off the line immediately to prevent Saborio from following up as he charged toward the center of the net.

Beckerman credits the dominant performance in the midfield as a sign that RSL is finally regaining the form that had many people pegging them as the team to beat back in the preseason.

''We're able to find each other,'' Beckerman said. ''The quick passing is coming back. We're able to break teams down that way. When we're at our best, that's what you see a lot.''

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