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SANDY — No Real Salt Lake players were named to the MLS All-Star starting XI roster once again, but RSL did get the spotlight this week in striker Alvaro Saborio as the Northern American Soccer Reporters named him the MLS Player of the Week Monday.
“When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Saborio was just on fire in the second half against Portland (Saturday) and we’re all happy for him,” RSL defender Nat Borchers told ESPN700 during a radio interview Monday afternoon.
The honor came after Saborio hit the back of the net three times last Saturday as his hat trick game gave RSL the win over the Portland Timbers and moved them to 36 points on the season, still just one behind Western Conference opponent the San Jose Earthquakes.
All three goals hit the back of the net within 15 minutes of each other during the second half, two of which were scored off headers.
“You can tell that he’s hot right now,” Borchers told ESPN700, “especially with how hard he’s playing.”
Multiple RSL players have won MLS Player of the Week in past seasons, but Saborio is the first RSL player to win the honor this season. It’s his third time claiming the award in an RSL jersey, as the two others came in 2010.
With Saborio’s three goals last Saturday, his 2012 RSL season goal totals jumped to 10 while his hat trick totals went to two during his professional soccer career, the first in a RSL jersey and earlier this season as he wore the Costa Rica jersey while on International Duty.
And Saborio’s 10 RSL goals this season have come in just 20 matches, with three of those matches seeing him score multiple goals for the Claret and Cobalt.
Saborio’s hat trick also moved him into the lead of RSL’s all-time goal-scoring with 33 goals. He has now tallied 44 goals overall in all RSL competitions.
RSL and Saborio will take the pitch again this Saturday on the road. They face off with San Jose for the third time this season as RSL looks to regain its once-first place standing that was taken the last time the Earthquakes came to town.
Kira Terry is a sports writer covering Real Salt Lake for KSL.com. Follow her on Twitter, @kiraterry.