Álvaro Saborío

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Álvaro Saborío
SHP 7114 (4).JPG
Saborío playing for D.C. United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Álvaro Alberto Saborío Chacón
Date of birth (1982-03-25) 25 March 1982 (age 36)
Place of birth Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Monterrey B
Coyotes de Saltillo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2006 Saprissa 151 (95)
2006–2010 Sion 91 (38)
2009–2010Bristol City (loan) 20 (2)
2010Real Salt Lake (loan) 27 (12)
2011–2015 Real Salt Lake 100 (51)
2015–2016 D.C. United 31 (10)
2017 Saprissa 4 (1)
2018 San Carlos 22 (14)
Total 446 (223)
National team
2004 Costa Rica U23 15 (13)
2002–2016 Costa Rica 108 (35)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 January 2017
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 24 August 2016

Álvaro Alberto Saborío Chacón (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈalβaɾo saβoˈɾi.o]; born 25 March 1982) is a Costa Rican footballer, who plays for San Carlos in the Liga de Ascenso.[1] Saborío originally retired in 2017, but returned months later.[2]

A full international for Costa Rica since 2002, Saborío has over 100 caps and 35 goals for the nation, whom he represented at five CONCACAF Gold Cups, in addition to one tournament each at the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and Copa América.

Club career[edit]

Saborío is a product of C.F. Monterrey's youth system. He played with the club's reserve team in the Segunda División de México and with affiliate Coyotes de Saltillo in the Primera A.[3][4]

Deportivo Saprissa[edit]

Saborio began his professional career with Saprissa in his native Costa Rica.[5] He made his Costa Rican Primera División debut against Limonense on 8 August 2001.[4] Saborío was the leading goal-scorer of the 2003–2004 Costa Rican season, finishing the year with 25 goals, five above Whayne Wilson.

With Saprissa, he has won a league title and a CONCACAF Champions Cup, and was part of the team that played the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship Toyota Cup, where Saprissa finished third behind São Paulo and Liverpool. At the tournament, he scored two goals and ended up tied with three other players for top scoring honors.

FC Sion[edit]

He moved to Swiss Super League outfit FC Sion after playing for Costa Rica at the 2006 World Cup. He formed a good partnership at FC Sion with Poland's Zbigniew Zakrzewski.

His performances in Switzerland reportedly caught the eye of Stoke City's manager Tony Pulis who aimed to sign him in the summer of 2009, however he instead joined Bristol City on loan.

Bristol City[edit]

Saborío played his first game for Bristol City in a Championship match on 13 September against Coventry City making an impact by setting up fellow striker Nicky Maynard. Saborío also picked up his first yellow card in English football as the match ended in a 1–1 draw.[6] Saborio scored his first goal for Bristol City in their 1–1 draw with Scunthorpe United.[7]

He left Bristol City and his contract was terminated with FC Sion in February 2010 so that he could return to Costa Rica.

Real Salt Lake[edit]

Saborío at a "Meet the Players" event for Real Salt Lake in 2010

Saborío signed with Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake in March 2010.[8] He made a huge impact in his first season in Salt Lake: RSL boasted the highest-scoring offense in MLS in 2010 (45 goals); Saborío led the way with a team-high 12 tallies. For his efforts, he earned the MLS Newcomer of the Year award.[9] He also starred for the club in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, scoring eight goals as Real Salt Lake advanced to the championship round.

After a successful first season at the club, Saborío was made Salt Lake's first ever Designated Player, signing a four-year contract with the club on 1 December 2010.[10]

Since joining RSL, Saborío has become the club's all-time leading scorer, and been their key target man. As of 5 May 2012 Saborío has scored 38 goals across all competition. Including 8 of them coming from CONCACAF Champions League play.

On 18 November 2013 Saborío was named FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Año.[11]

Saborío scored a goal in the 52nd minute of the 2013 MLS Cup on 7 December. His goal was equalized by Aurélien Collin in the 76th minute. He later missed his penalty kick when the game went into a penalty kick shoutout, in which Sporting Kansas City won.

D.C. United[edit]

On July 16, 2015, Saborío was traded to D.C. United for Luis Silva.[12]

On November 14, 2016, Saborío announced that he was to leave United after two seasons.[13]

Deportivo Saprissa[edit]

On January 10, 2017, Saborío signed a one-year contract with Deportivo Saprissa. On February 9, 2017, Saborío announced his retirement due to conflicts with Saprissa fans.[2]

International career[edit]

He is also an important player for the Costa Rica national football team at numerous levels. He represented the U-23 team at the 2004 Olympics,[14] scoring the qualifying goal that took them there, and subsequently starting three of four games for the team, scoring a goal against Portugal.

He made his senior debut for Costa Rica in an October 2002 friendly match against Ecuador and has, as of July 2015, earned a total of 103 caps, scoring 35 goals,[15] placing him third at his country's all-time goalscorers list behind Rolando Fonseca and Paulo Wanchope.

Saborío, better known as Pipe, has been notably recognized for his accomplishments with Deportivo Saprissa, and the high number of goals he has scored in a short period. But after a year at the club his Costa Rican coach got a hold of him and he took part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[14] He was mostly a substitute for Costa Rica national football team, behind Rónald Gómez and former Man City forward Paulo César Wanchope. He also scored the first goal ever in the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, in the inaugural match against China. Saborío was at the centre of much controversy in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, criticized heavily for his misses, including two penalty kicks in the quarter final against Honduras, and for a training pitch incident where he allegedly kicked a ball at a child who was in the stands.[16]

Saborío scored eight times in Costa Rica's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, including a hat-trick in a 4–0 away win over Guyana on 12 June 2012,[17] and a further two goals on 16 October in a 7–0 win over the same opponents.[18] On 12 May 2014 Saborío was named to Costa Rica's 30-man preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[19] However, on 29 May, the Costa Rican Football Federation confirmed that Saborío had broken the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during a training session with the national team and would subsequently miss the World Cup.[20]

Saborío was in Costa Rica's squad for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and earned his 100th cap on 11 July at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, assisting Bryan Ruiz's goal in a 1–1 Group B draw with El Salvador; he was the fifth Costa Rican to make one hundred appearances.[21]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list. Guadeloupe, against whom Saborío scored twice, are not FIFA members.[22]

Personal life[edit]

A son of former Costa Rica international Álvaro Grant MacDonald and Marlene Saborío,[23] Saborío can speak four languages: Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.[24]

Saborío holds a U.S. green card which qualifies him as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.[25]

Career league statistics[edit]

Updated on 19 February 2017, includes CONCACAF Champions League statistics for MLS years

Team Season Apps Goals
Saprissa 2001/02 24 11
2002/03 36 27
2003/04 37 25
2004/05 21 15
2005/06 31 17
Total 149 95
FC Sion 2006/07 31 14
2007/08 34 17
2008/09 22 5
Total 87 36
Bristol City (loan) 2009/10 21 2
Total 21 2
Real Salt Lake[26][27] 2010 34 18
2011 32 16
2012 36 19
2013 19 13
2014 18 8
2015 14 3
Total 153 77
D.C. United[26][27] 2015 15 4
2016 20 6
Total 35 10
Career league total 445 220




Costa Rica



  1. ^ Jiménez, Daniel (20 June 2017). "Álvaro Saborío vuelve al fútbol; jugará con San Carlos". La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Former Costa Rica and Real Salt Lake star Alvaro Saborio retires". ESPN. ESPN FC. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  3. ^ Madrigal, Luis Alberto (18 April 2011). "Final con "Saborio" especial" [Final with "Saborio" special] (in Spanish). El Porvenir.
  4. ^ a b Hernández Cerdas, Kenneth (24 January 2006). "Diez goles separan a Saborío del dardo 100 en Primera" [10 goals separate Saborío from 100 goals in the Primera] (in Spanish). Diario Extra.
  5. ^ "Álvaro Saborío". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  6. ^ Saborio makes small impact on debut ESPN Soccernet Retrieved on 13 September 2009
  7. ^ "Bristol City 1 – 1 Scunthorpe". BBC Sport. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Alvaro Saborio Signs with RSL | Three.Four.Three.FC Blog". threefourthreefc.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Saborío wins Newcomer of the Year with breakout season | MLSsoccer.com". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.sltrib.com. "Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive - The Salt Lake Tribune". sltrib.com. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio rides record voting to win FutbolMLS.com's 2013 Latino del Año | MLSsoccer.com". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Real Salt Lake: RSL trades Alvaro Saborio to D.C. United in exchange for Luis Silva". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  13. ^ http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/11/14/alvaro-saborio-announces-departure-dc-united
  14. ^ a b Álvaro SaboríoFIFA competition record (archive)
  15. ^ Passo Alpuin, Luis Fernando (12 August 2009). "Costa Rica - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  16. ^ "Á Saborío se le cerró la portería como nunca". nacion.com. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  17. ^ Jefford, Edison (13 June 2012). "Twelfth man showed up, but Jaguars didn't". Kaieteur News. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Costa Rica mauls Guyana 7-0". Stabroek News. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  19. ^ RSL's Álvaro Saborío Called to Costa Rica's 30-man World Cup Roster
  20. ^ Copa Mundial: Álvaro Saborío será baja en Costa Rica por fractura en su pie derecho, confirma la federación costarricense
  21. ^ Fuentes, Ferlin (11 July 2015). "Álvaro Saborío con asistencia de lujo en su juego 100 con la Tricolor" [Álvaro Saborío with luxury assist in his 100th game for the Tricolor]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  22. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Álvaro Alberto Saborío - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF.com. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  23. ^ Saborío lleva 5 tantos en 4 juegos seguidos Una precoz alianza con los goles - Nación (in Spanish)
  24. ^ Charles, Chris (16 September 2009). "Sport quotes of the week". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  25. ^ "Immigration green cards turn RSL stars into Americans, for MLS purposes | Real Salt Lake | The Salt Lake Tribune". Sltrib.com. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  26. ^ a b "Alvaro Saborio". MLS Statistics. Major League Soccer. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Alvaro Saborio CONCACAF". Worldfootball.net. World Football. Retrieved 19 February 2017.

External links[edit]