Commerce City, Colo. • Maybe it was just unlucky 13.
The first 12 times Alvaro Saborio stepped up to the penalty spot in a Real Salt Lake uniform, the Costa Rican forward buried the kick. Saborio was a perfect 8 for 8 in Major League Soccer play and 4 for 4 in CONCACAF action when he placed the ball on the shot in the 10th minute of RSL's Rocky Mountain Cup showdown with Colorado on Saturday night.
Saborio made his approach and blasted a shot to Rapid goalkeeper Clint Irwin's left, and Irwin's outstretched arms finally denied the striker.
"I think it was a pretty good shot by Sabo," coach Jason Kreis said. "He read it and made a great save."
The penalty kick was a prime opportunity for Saborio to bring his team back after giving up a goal in the game's fifth minute.
"Great save," RSL goalie Nick Rimando said. "Any save on a PK is a great save. It gives your team a boost."
It also helped give the Rapids a win.
Saborio had other clear chances to score Saturday night. He had six shots on the night, and put two of them on goal. But like his PK none found the back of the net.
"I think if we score that goal, it happened so quickly after their first goal, that the match is probably completely different," coach Jason Kreis said of the penalty. "I felt like Sabo, if he scores that penalty, he probably goes on to score two or three more because he got several clear chances and was very unlucky tonight."
As he iced his knee in the locker room, Saborio expressed his own frustrations.
"It's kind of that game you fee like you play all night and I can't score," Saborio said. "But I feel bad because I know if I score the penalty it's a different game. But now we have to move forward. ... I know I miss a penalty there, but it's football. It happens and we have to refocus and be prepared for another."
Saborio's teammates have already moved on.
"There's no doubt in my mind Sabo won't miss the next one," Rimando said.