Alvaro Saborio dreamed of starring at another World Cup.
Costa Rican national team coach Jorge Luis Pinto had to relay those words to the press Thursday afternoon because Saborio, Real Salt Lake’s all-time leading scorer, will not be donning the No. 9 jersey for his home country this summer in Brazil.
The 32-year-old Costa Rica forward was injured in training in a pre-World Cup camp Thursday morning with the national team when he suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Costa Rican national team doctor Alejandro Ramirez confirmed the fracture in the news conference Thursday while seated alongside Pinto.
"The best tribute we can give to Alvaro is to make it a good World Cup," Pinto said.
The fallout from the injury echoes beyond missing the World Cup in a few weeks. Real Salt Lake issued a release saying Saborio’s foot fracture will keep him out of action for 3 to 4 months. The metatarsal is a long bone on the outside part of the foot that connects to the little toe. Saborio will return to Salt Lake City within the next few days from San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be further evaluated by RSL’s medical staff upon his arrival back in Utah. It remains unknown whether the severity of the injury will require surgery.
"I feel sick to my stomach," RSL defender Chris Wingert said Thursday on 700 AM. "It’s terrible news. The timing couldn’t be worse. There’s not much you can say."
Saborio has made 93 appearances with Los Ticos and has 32 career international goals, including eight goals during Costa Rica’s World Cup Qualifying attempts within CONCACAF, in which Los Ticos finished second behind the United States.
Saborio made his World Cup debut with Costa Rica in 2006 at the tournament in Germany, seeing time in two of his country’s three group matches as a substitute. Real Salt Lake’s all-time leading scorer, Saborio has 74 goals across all competitions since joining RSL in 2010. He scored six goals and recorded two assists in 10 regular-season matches in 2014 before departing to join Costa Rica in World Cup preparations. Costa Rica must now lean on star Bryan Ruiz, a Fulham player on loan at PSV Eindhoven, and youngster Joel Campbell, an Arsenal player on loan to Greek club Olympiakos.
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