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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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Questions abound after Saborio snubs RSL on way out of game

Hard to imagine how you could overshadow a monster victory over the hottest team in the league that included a goalkeeping howler, but RSL's Alvaro Saborio might have managed it.

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The Costa Rican striker stalked off the field and directly up the tunnel to the locker room after being subbed off in the 87th minute of his team's 2-0 victory over FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight, sparking a flurry of questions about his attitude and any potential fallout.

Not that any of them were answered.

Coach Jason Kreis declined to comment after the game, except to say he thought Saborio "looked really tired" and needed to come out, especially with the upcoming U.S. Open Cup game at FC Dallas on Tuesday. The coach waved dismissively as Saborio walked past the bench, and later sent a team trainer into the locker room to check on him.

Meanwhile, Saborio left the stadium without speaking to reporters, departing before Kreis even began his post-game press conference and long before the locker room was open to the media.

It's fair to say Saborio hasn't had the easiest time lately, having missed crucial penalty kicks for Costa Rica that kept it from advancing in the Gold Cup, not long after a teammate on the national team was killed in a car crash.

But he also has shown enough of a hint of moody or petulant behavior — it's not the first time he acted similarly coming out of games — to make you wonder.

General manager Garth Lagerwey said only that the incident was an "internal thing" that will be handled privately, and it's not hard to imagine the fine line that management must walk in dealing with the situation.

On one hand, the team surely wants to discipline Saborio in some fashion, especially knowing that allowing such behavior — effectively disrespecting not only your coach, but also your teammates — could breed problems in the locker room. But it also knows that Saborio is one of its best players, and probably can't afford to be too harsh without risking a toxic attitude going forward.



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