By DAN KARELL
A scenario leaving Real Salt Lake Designated Player Alvaro Saborio unavailable for the MLS Cup final is looking less likely by the day.
The veteran forward was a regular participant in RSL training this week, and according to head coach Jason Kreis, it’s looking “very likely” that Saborio will be available for selection on Dec. 7 when RSL takes on Sporting Kansas City for the 2013 title.
Saborio missed both legs of the Western Conference semifinals against the Portland Timbers with a pulled muscle, though Devon Sandoval effectively filled in for him, scoring a goal and providing quality hold-up play for the team. Saborio, a Costa Rican international, has scored 12 goals in 18 games this season, having missed time for a variety of reasons, including injury and international duty.
While Saborio is looking closer to being fit, starting defender Chris Wingert is still a doubt after suffering a broken rib and collapsed lung in RSL’s 4-2 victory over the Timbers.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
TFC DECLINES OPTIONS ON CONVEY, PICKS UP OPTIONS ON 12 OTHERS
Following yet another disappointing season for Toronto FC, the club has decided to cut some of their losses, while keeping a few of the brighter lights from this past year.
TFC announced on Friday afternoon that veteran American winger Bobby Convey, forward Robby Earnshaw, and reserves Darel Russell and Michael Thomas had their contract options declined. The four players join Danny Koevermans, Stefan Frei, and Justin Braun as players who are out-of-contract. TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement that there’s a chance that some of these players could be back next season
“We are writing a new story for TFC, and it begins with our current players,” Bezbatchenko said. “We have not had a solid core group like this in a long time, and this core is prepared and excited about taking this club to the next level. We will continue discussing the possibility of returning next season with those players whose options were declined.”
Heading into the 2014 season, TFC’s roster currently stands at 20 players, as the club exercised contract options on 12 players, including Bright Dike, Joe Bendik, and Gale Agbossoumonde.
WHITECAPS PART WAYS WITH CANNON AND KOBAYASHI, RETAIN REO-COKER
Even without a head coach, the Vancouver Whitecaps front office has been busy preparing the roster for next season.
The Whitecaps announced on Thursday that eight players had their options declined, including veteran goalkeeper Joe Cannon, Japanese playmaker Daigo Kobayashi, and Jun-Marques Davidson. At the same time, the club exercised the options of 11 players, most notably Nigel Reo-Coker, who looked like the best player on the field during some matches in the 2013 season.
In addition, the Whitecaps picked up the options of forward Camilo Sanvezzo, who scored an MLS-best 22 goals this season, and Omar Salgado, the 20-year-old American forward who has been plagued by injury in the last 18 months.
Cannon, Brad Knighton, Tommy Heinemann, and Corey Herzog will all be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft, set to take place after the MLS Cup final.
What do you think of these developments? Hope that Saborio is fit to play Sporting KC? Surprised Convey had his contract declined? Glad that the Whitecaps are bringing Salgado back for next season?
Share your thoughts below.