Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio has been named to the Costa Rican National Team’s 30-man preliminary World Cup roster. Saborio will depart Salt Lake City for Costa Rica on Wednesday to join Los Ticos for their World Cup preparation camp. Costa Rica Head Coach Jorge Luis Pinto will name his final 23-man roster at a later date; FIFA’s final deadline for naming the 23-man roster is June 2.
Costa Rica will play a pair of friendly matches in the U.S. in the buildup to the World Cup, taking on Japan on June 2 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa before facing off against Ireland on June 7 at PPL Park outside Philadelphia.
Costa Rica will depart for Brazil following its friendly against Ireland. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will officially kick off on June 12. Los Ticos will play in Group D of the tournament, taking on Uruguay on June 14, Italy on June 20 and England on June 24. The top-two teams from Group D will advance to the single-elimination knockout rounds. Costa Rica’s match against Uruguay will be broadcast live on ABC, its game against Italy will be broadcast live on ESPN and its Group D finale against England will be shown live on ESPN2.
Saborio has played a major role in RSL’s unbeaten start to the year, starting all 10 of the club’s matches, leading the team with six goals and adding a pair of assists. He played in the 2006 World Cup for Costa Rica, coming off the bench in two of La Sele’s three matches at the Germany tournament.
Costa Rica qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup last fall after finishing second in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, four points behind the United States. Saborio appeared for the national team nine times – five of which were starts – in Costa Rica’s Hexagonal campaign. Saborio found the back of the net twice for Los Ticos during qualification, scoring in a 2-2 draw with Panama on Feb. 6, 2013 and providing the game-winner in Costa Rica’s 2-1 win over Mexico on Oct. 15, 2013. The RSL Designated Player has 108 career caps with the Costa Rica National Team, recording a total of 45 goals for his home country.
Saborio is one of five MLS players to be named to Costa Rica’s 30-man roster, joining the Columbus Crew’s Waylon Francis, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Jairo Arrieta and New York’s Roy Miller on the squad.
If Saborio is named to Costa Rica’s final World Cup roster, he will miss a minimum of six RSL regular season matches and at least one – and potentially up to three – Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches.