At Copa, DC’s Saborio ready to rejoin Costa Rica’s "best generation ever"

 WASHINGTON—Two years removed from a foot fracture that kept him out of Costa Rica’s magical World Cup run, Alvaro Saborio is in vintage form with D.C. United and nearing a new international opportunity at next month’s Copa America Centenario.

And at age 34, the target man insists he’s only looking forward.

“I don’t think about that moment anymore,” Saborio said Wednesday. “I just think about the future and how we can do in this big tournament. We have the best generation ever in Costa Rica. So we have to enjoy that and try to win games.”


Saborio has remained in Costa Rica’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifying squad. He’s proven a survivor with United as well, scoring four times to lead D.C. while playing his way out of a substitute’s role into the starting XI.

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His goal in last Friday’s 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls was his first as a starter since August 13, and perhaps quieted suggestions that he’s now a stronger threat off the bench.

“I’ve never been suited in my career [to be a substitute],” said Saborio, whom manager Ben Olsen asked to take such a role earlier this spring. “He told me, he needs me for a new role, and maybe I accept, maybe not.

“But I tried to focus … and try to be productive for the team.”

Said Olsen: “He was frustrated. These guys are grown men, and this is what they do for a living. They want to be on the field on the weekend. I don’t have any problem with that. I have a problem when guys don’t have issues with not being on the field on the weekend.”

Saborio could add to his goals total Friday against the Philadelphia Union (7 pm ET, UniMás). Then he flies to Costa Rica to join Copa America preparation for Los Ticos, who open in Group A play against Paraguay in Orlando on June 4.

He insists there is no added pressure after watching his country’s quarterfinal run in Brazil from the sidelines.

“I was very happy because the team was doing well,” Saborio said. “I don’t know, I just feel happier because I [am] part of the team.”

When he returns, he hopes to revitalize his club partnership with Fabian Espindola, whom he played alongside at Real Salt Lake (2010-12).

With Espindola battling hamstring injuries, the pair have only featured on the pitch together for 46 minutes this season. And Saborio has at times looked like a better partner for another Argentine, 21-year-old Luciano Acosta.

“We talk to each other and say, ‘Maybe we have to prove to the coaches we can play together,’” Saborio said of Espindola. “[We’ll] see what happens.”

Source: MLS – MLS

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