Saborio dive mars RSL blowout win over San Jose

AlvaroSaborio (Getty)

Real Salt Lake is one of the top teams in MLS, and might have been in their way to another victory against struggling San Jose, but when Alvaro Saborio took a dive in the penalty area, earning a PK and a red card for San Jose's Bobby Burling, the matches outcome was all but decided.

RSL took full advantage of the sequence, with Saborio converting the penalty as Real Salt Lake rolled to a 4-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.

The controversial dive had San Jose players fuming and even RSL fans unhappy with their own player. Tempers even boiled o

Here are the match highlights, where you can see the Saborio dive at 2:36 and 3:36.

What did you think of the match? Think Saborio should be suspended? Surprised to see an RSL player take a dive?

Share your thoughts below.


This entry was posted in MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes. Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Saborio dive mars RSL blowout win over San Jose

  1. Portland Padre says:

    Classy club, but even Kreis said maybe it was a lucky make up call for some terrible calls earlier in the year. Suspension for sure. It has to be made clear that these type of actions are strictly forbidden.

    Where was the sideline judge on this. HOw could he miss both.

  2. Why would Sabo get suspended when Davies wasn’t?

    (SBI-Because the league stated pretty clearly that punishment for dives that influenced the outcome of games would begin being punished at even greater rates, including potential suspensions. League was pretty clear, we’ll see if they stand up to that. Not saying I think a dive should result in a suspension but the league has created the possibility.)

  3. camjam says:

    Yeah suspension would be extreme; this would be his “1st” offense, so he wouldn’t get more than a fine this time.

    Maybe its just me but I didn’t think it looked at bad as davies dive anyway……. that could be better skill at flopping though.

  4. DingDong says:

    Didn’t the league say they might punish future diving more harshly?

  5. DingDong says:

    It looked pretty blatant to me.

  6. Brian says:

    Yes, diving sucks and the PK should not have been given. However:

    1. If it weren’t for the San Jose midfielders diving any time Beckerman, Grabavoy, or Johnson got with 5 feet of them, San Jose would have had NO possession in the game.

    2. The linesman in the 1st half kept San Jose in the game with multiple blown offsides calls that kept Saborio from being one on one with Busch.

  7. Jon says:

    The way to snuff this out would be to replay the game in San Jose, suspend Saborio for 3 games, and fine him.

  8. jp992751 says:

    As an RSL fan I would be ok with the team giving him a suspension but if the MLS suspends him I swear to everything holy I am done with this league. If Davies has never been touched for his shameful dives and then they suspend Saborio for his awful dive it just shows how minnow this league is. Yes it was a dive, yes as a fan I was pissed (especially considering he probably could have scored had he stayed on his feet), but MLS has already shown that diving is ok and no punishment will be handed out (as well as no card being overturned for incorrect calls). Also last night I was thinking that if the ref was closer he might have got the call right why hasn’t the MLS tried going with 2 center refs…one per each side of the field? That would cut down on blown calls and cards. Is it FIFA that wouldn’t allow it or just MLS?

  9. bobo says:

    Part of the game. You do what you can to get an advantage. Some times you eat the bar and some times the bar eats you. If you don’t want them to dive than take away all incentives to win.

  10. Kyle says:

    Ok, so no one touched him, complete dive. How did they determine that was a red card? Refs are starting to make up things that they saw just to justify themselves. At least suspend him for the next game.

  11. says:

    The league already said future dives may receive harsher punishment. Some how I don’t think the league will miss you.

  12. jp992751 says:

    And why would it be justified this time when it has happened numerous times before (including SJ players) and the league has never even blinked? If anything further happens it just shows that the MLS is ok picking an choosing who they suspend and who they overturn and not in a consistent manner. As an RSL fan I feel like crap that we beat SJ in this way and would be ok if the team suspends Saborio…but the MLS should do nothing as they have done nothing in the past.

  13. JGIB says:

    Live in the stadium it looked like a penalty

  14. jp992751 says:

    Of course they did…after the most blatant dive of all (Davies against Wingert) went unpunished. It seems like they watched the video said “Crap we can’t punish a Davies…just look at all he has been through” and then made this statement without touching the dive that set it all off.

  15. RSL123 says:

    Very bad call. Regardless, Busch acted like a complete buffoon. I would feel worse if San Jose would have fought more. They practically gave up after the penalty.

  16. Andrew says:

    That was the biggest dive I have ever seen. But it is the ref who should be suspended. That is an atrocious job and he has no place in our league. For Saborio, he deserves a fine and a yellow (what he should have got in the game). Diving isn’t a suspendable offense for anyone other than the ref.

  17. ManicMessiah says:

    They left that warning out there about future dives possibly being punished harder than Davies was, so they did leave themselves room to suspend him. What I would rather see happen is MLS clarify their position on diving. They should come out and either say ‘diving is subject to suspension’ or it’s not.

    Not that it should be mandatory, but we shouldn’t have to be guessing at punishments.

    What I would do if I was in charge would be to give the diver the punishment the referee awarded for the dive.

  18. KC says:

    Agudelo got a yellow for a dive yesterday. Does he get suspended also?

  19. Arsenalfire says:

    Suspend the officials, not the player. At first I thought justice would be served with a “neverinamillionyears” replay, but then I remembered the Quakes v Galaxy match, so I chalk it up to Karma.

  20. 4n0n says:

    Davies was fined and publicly called out by the league for his dive. That’s not “unpunished,” though it might not be as harsh as you’d like. In the same statement, they said that future dives would be punished more harshly, with fines and/or suspensions. Saborio had the benefit of hearing this and dove anyway – he’s got nobody to blame but himself for whatever’s coming from the league office.

  21. FSegaud says:

    Make up call for terrible calls earlier in the year??? I guess the Galaxy have the supporters shield locked up…they are due several make up calls.

  22. Oog says:

    Terrible call but tough to see in live action. When I saw it live on tv I thought for sure he got taken down. Then after several replays I could see he wasn’t hardly touched. Tough call to make live when the players are at full sprint. I’m an RSL fan and it is disappointing to see this for any player including my own. I hate to see us win that way.

  23. frank from sf says:

    Saborio dive mars RSL blowout win over San Jose….not really,we(quakes) are a BAD team w/ a bad coach and a front office that can care less. we would of gotten beat regardless. did anyone see the stat before the pk call?!…it was 18%(Q’s) to 72%! for rsl. it was only a matter of time….tired of yallop happy w/ all the ties we’re getting. he needs to GO!!!

  24. mouf says:

    cute rationalization by Kreis

  25. mouf says:

    u have to be trolling

  26. ShaggyReAL says:

    Even the SJ announcers had no problem with the call at first. They were upset that the ref gave the wrong guy the card. They changed their stance once they saw the replay.
    I also thought it was a foul until seeing a replay.

    I have no doubt Jason Kreis will talk to Saborio in private but he will not call him out in public nor suspend him.

    Any fine MLS wants to hand out to Saborio is okay with me, but no suspension is required.

  27. RB says:

    “Classy club, but even Kreis said maybe it was a lucky make up call for some terrible calls earlier in the year…”

    Yeah, like when RSL was gifted with a home win over the Rapids though anybody could see Espindola was off on the only goal of the game.

    Oh, wait…

  28. Matt says:

    Why in SJ, RSL already beat them there…

  29. roger says:

    big deal, thats what adds flavor to the sport. gets the fans, writers, players, coaches, league officials talking. plus, real salt lake dominated.

  30. CSD says:

    In this case I would suspend the referee because he pulled a red card out even before consulting his assistant who appeared to have a better angle. His assistant even went over to talk to the ref but the ref couldn’t wait and had to look all tough and pull his red out. Even if the referee saw it correctly what difference does it make when a card was already pulled and the spot was pointed to?

    Can the league not afford to get all of the refs fox soccer and gol TV so they can watch games in other parts of the world and see how a game should be handled by the referee.

  31. Kyle says:

    i should have just said why not yellow and straight to red?

  32. CSD says:

    I meant “even if the assistant referee saw it correctly…”

  33. Ian in ATL says:

    The announcers doing the replay on MLS’ webite at first thought Saborio was going to get called for a dive. I thought they were SJ’s announcers.

  34. Curtis says:

    Those were Real’s piss poor announcers actually. They have a habit of always talking RSL down

  35. Curtis says:

    Biggest dive you’ve ever seen? Check last month when Divies went down though the defender was a foot away

  36. Clayton says:

    DIVE, DIVE, DIVE!!! Please suspend him. Sabo dives and flops all the time.

    This sort of trash has to be dealth with. He’s a great player no doubt, but this crap has to go. Changed the whole game.

  37. Ian in ATL says:


  38. Not OK says:

    Nobody mentions that Ned Grabavoy held his face and tried to buy a red card when Brad Ring turned around and accidental hit him in the chest. That’s two flops from RSL in the space of 11 seconds.

  39. Joe in Indianapolis says:

    If I was Garber, I would suspend players every single time for diving. And I don’t mean embellishment. If you’ve been fouled, and you go down easy, then fair play. There will always be room for interpretation with regard to going down easy. But simulating a foul where there is literally no contact requires a suspension.

    First no-contact dive: 3 MLS games
    All subsequent no-contact dives: 10 MLS games

    Harsh, I know. But I bet players stop diving in our league.

  40. astro says:

    Rsl fan here, those were not rsl commentators.

  41. ShaggyReAL says:

    I watched it on MDL and those weren’t RSL’s announcers!!!

  42. astro says:

    Rsl fan here, here is my perspective.

    If the rsl fans take the anger over Davies and the feeling that we were ‘owed one’ out of the equation and if the supported of other clubs take your hate for rsl and or saborio and even cruddy refs and diving out of the equation we can look at this objectively.

    Davies was fined for his dive and the league set out the precident that future dives would be met with increasing punishment. Sabo should receive an incremental punishment, say 5k and or 1 game. Then let future divers beware, because it’ll definitely happen again soon.

    But to try and call for any more than that AT THIS TIME is irrational. They just started the policy for this, why jump to an extreme so quickly? Why then not just start with Davies? What would the next level of punishment be? A gradual increase is the only way to make it fair from team to team, diver to diver. Any extreme jump is unfair to that one team.

    No amount of crying is going to give San Jose any points for last night, the same way rsl will not get the 2 points Davies stole back. A consise and consistent policy dealing with divers is the only was out of this mess.

    The class thing would be for rsl to suspend sabo themselves and put the onus on the league and the rest of the teams to follow suit.

  43. Lafemmeloca says:

    Sabo needs to be suspended and fined. This leaves SJ in a horrible position next week without a single center back (the rest out on injury). So not only did Sabo put the game in disrepute and blow SJ’s goal differential (we all knew they would win but doubt it would have been 4-0 instead probably 2-0.) But DC will be blessed by three Quakes sitting out due to this match (Ring, Burling, & Busch).

    It will be interesting to see if Kreis man’s up and isn’t a hypocrite and punishes Sabo. If he was a good man he would also appeal to the MLS Disciplinary committee to get Bobby Burling un-suspended for this Saturday. But that won’t happen.

    RSL really lost my respect last night.

  44. marco says:

    Saborio has been having a bad year for both club and country, perhaps he was looking for an edge to snap out of some bad form.

  45. Dlewis says:

    Wow, thats pretty exteme. Why can’t people deal with the fact that diving is a definitive part of the modern game. Adapt to it.

  46. Dlewis says:

    Not only was Davies fined. He also now no longer gets anything close to the benefit of the doubt with refs. I say the action was pretty effective.

  47. Bo says:

    The best part was the ref giving the red to the wrong player at first. What game was he watching?? I hope that ref worked his last MLS game.

  48. Jk3 says:

    Suspend the ref and fine Saborio.

    – RSL fan
    (full disclosure)

  49. sciroccer says:

    The MLS is the worst on equally punishing players! (If they give Sabo more then a $1000.00 dollar fine and NO suspension, like Davies got, as your hinting at SBI)then maybe they should go back and give Mondaini an 11 game suspension for the tackle on Morales? Just to step up the punishment on bad tackles? You know, since Mullan got a well deserved 10 games, and Chivas gets 4??? The MLS needs firm preset guidelines, until then they are minor league!

  50. Goob says:

    Why exactly would suspension be in order? I am all for ending diving and if Sabo is suspended they better suspend every play similar that occurs in the league.

    Even to the “stars” like Divies.

    As long as we are talking suspensions, how many games should you suspend a team like San Jose for quitting? Rolling over and just taking it? All round laying down after one bad call?

    Just curious.

  51. DS says:

    Busch has proven repeatedly throughout his career that he’s a buffoon. The guy has displayed little class in Columbus, Chicago and now in San Jose. Dives happen all over the world – but the reaction of Busch (the middle finger, the hit-and-run altercation with Kreis), now in mind THAT deserves a suspension.

  52. Charles says:

    I actually agree with adapt to it.

    IF you mean, video replay and suspend cheaters for life.

  53. Tom J says:

    Yes, this one looked OK at full speed.

    These kind of dives, that look good and actually fool the referee, are EXACTLY the ones that should be punished most severely.

    Diving is an affront to the game.

    Saborio should be suspended for at least 3 games, the 3 points deducted, the red card rescinded, and the referees directed to evaluate future incidents with Saborio as if he is diving unless it is clear that he isn’t.

  54. RSL fan says:

    Seriously everyone? Seriously why the hate? Have none of you read the rule book? When a player plays an opposing player instead of the ball, that is obstruction, and that is exactly what Burling did. He ran into Sabo’s running line without an attempt on the ball. Sabo cut back, but Burling stuck his rear end out to knock Sabo off balance. That is what happened. Watch it again, and watch the replays. So, none of you see Burling stick his rear end out after he passes and Sabo cuts? Really. Then you all had pre-conceived notions of the play. Ives, go watch again. Burling fouls Sabo, Sabo does go down easy, but it is still a foul. Obstruction plus a foul rear end leads to a penalty.

  55. RSL fan says:

    Watch Burling’s rear end as he sticks it out into Sabo’s path. thats a foul folks. that is a foul rear end.

  56. Tom J says:

    Sure, the referee team made an error, and there should be consequences to them.

    But deliberate cheating by the player is far more serious than a judgment error by the referee. That’s like saying that the store security guard should be fired for letting the shoplifter out of the store, but the shoplifter should only be lightly punished because the security guard made an error.

    Diving that are not properly addressed during the game should receive *MORE* punishment. That is the only way to eliminate them.

    Saborio should be punished severely enough that next time, he will not trade the red, the PK, and the win for the punishment.

  57. Tom J says:

    Not necessary .. the ref caught it and there was no negative outcome to the game. Dives properly handled are not the problem. Dives that succeed are the problem.

    For the player, it should be far worse to get away with a dive than to be caught diving.

  58. RSL fan says:

    Watch replay, Burling’s rear end fouls Sabo when he sticks it out back towards Sabo. Replay clearly shows contact.

  59. Tom J says:

    Seriously? This has to be sarcasm, or really rosie glasses.

    Any contact on that play was incidental. Saborio nicely cut the ball between Ring and Burling, but hit it too hard. When he saw that Busch was going to get the ball, he locked his knees and went down.

    From the replays, it was clearly cheating. Given the angles, I can see how the referee called the foul. I don’t see how the AR didn’t see the space between Saborio and both defenders.

    Where he got the red, I’ll never know. It wasn’t a DOGSO, because Saborio had already given the ball away.

  60. Cram says:

    Are you kidding me? RSL list your respect last night. There is not a team anywhere in the world that would suspend it’s own player for diving. Yes it was a dive, and something needs to be done about it. However you are crazy if you think the punishment should come from RSL. Please give me any example of a team punishing it’s own player for simulation.

  61. RSL fan says:

    Sorry, Ives. Watch the replay on MLSSOCCER. At time about 3:33, Burling plays Sabo and slows down to clip Sabo. Burling played Sabo and sticks out his rear end while slowing down to play Sabo and contacts Sabo. Burling fouls, thats a Red and a penalty.

  62. Tom J says:

    The punishment to the player and to the organization has to be harsh enough that it becomes not worth the risk to dive. That is the only way to end diving.

    The ref team gets a couple of weeks down a level for buying the dive.

    The diver needs to be suspended longer than the suspension for the undeserved red card, and fined at least his wage for the game when the dive took place.

    I would like to see the 3 points deducted as well, but that is asking a lot.

  63. Tom J says:

    Makes sense, except that after Davies’ dive cost RSL a couple of points earlier in the month, Kreis stated that he wouldn’t tolerate it from his team.

  64. Tom J says:


    Waving your rear end in the general direction of another player is not a foul. There was nothing but incidental contact. That play isn’t a foul in AYSO, let alone in MLS.

    Saborio overhit the ball, and dove when he saw he wouldn’t get it before the goalie. The ref team bought it. End of story.

  65. Tom J says:

    Hopefully, it isn’t that bad. Burling’s red should be rescinded, and most likely Ring and Busch will receive token fines, which would be deserved, rather than suspensions.

  66. frank from sf says:

    uh yea….that’s what i wrote…rsl would of won regardless?!

  67. Tom J says:

    I despise diving .. it is an affront to the game.

    The punishment for diving needs to be harsh enough to make it not worth the risk for the player to dive. It needs to *at least* offset the outcome for a dive that is bought by the refs.

    In this case, that would mean suspension longer than the suspension for the undeserved Red, and a substantial fine.

    I would also rescind the red card, deduct two points from RSL and give a point to SJ.

  68. Tom J says:

    Nope .. the player’s offense was much worse than the referee’s.

    The referee made an error in judgment. The player deliberately cheated. The deliberate cheating needs to be harshly dealt with .. my thoughts are in other posts.

    The referee should suffer consequences for the error, perhaps a few weeks sitting or refereeing at a lower division.

  69. Tom J says:

    I saw that, and was glad that nothing came of hit. Grabovoy clearly got hit, but there was no intent and he had no business being anywhere near Ring in that situation.

    The natural consequence was perfect.

  70. Karen J. says:

    Live in the stadium from where you were — probably the same distance from the play as the ref. who couldn’t keep up with the speedy play of RSL.

    SJ was getting spanked before the bogus call, but were toughing it out and holding on. The double insult lead to a full whipping. Maybe they can take from this a first hand demonstration in how to play a man up they certainly never have shown that skill themselves.

  71. G$ says:

    Ahhh, yes. I seem to remember RSL fans taking extreme offense to the Davies dive claiming that RSL players are too high of character to do any such thing. It only took two weeks to prove them wrong!

  72. roger says:

    sorry the comment in reply to the article

  73. RSLnPortland says:

    Don’t forget to rescind the red card to Borchers for the game he missed, take a point from New England, give 2 to RSL. Take a point from DC United, give 2 to RSL. Take a point from DC United, give 2 to LA Galaxy. Where else have the officials gone wrong? I can’t remember, but we’ll need to go back and correct everything.

    Pretty much suspend Davies for the rest of the season too.

    Let’s pull up the archives and see who else to suspend.

  74. Matt says:

    Saborio should be suspended and Burling should have his suspension lifted. I mean, it’s pretty damn obvious it was a dive.

  75. Matt says:


  76. Matt says:

    But only suspend malicious tackles from behind for 4 games? Genius reckoning.

  77. oscar says:

    If it was a dive it makes the ref look bad. What stops the refs from doing their own “policing” and make sure Saborio does not get another call the reason of the season ? That should send a message to the players about diving.