D.C. United confirmed today that Alvaro Saborio has been called up by Costa Rica for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Haiti and Panama. Saborio will get a chance to add to his 100 caps and 33 international goals on November 13th against a Haitian team that showed signs of massive improvement over recent years during this summer's Gold Cup before the Ticos then head south to face the Panamanians in Panama City.
Saborio will depart after Sunday's second leg against the New York Red Bulls and return on November 18th. If United manages to win at Red Bull Arena and advance, that will see him arriving back in DC 4 days before the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals.
Since arriving in a mid-season trade, Saborio has mostly been a starter for Ben Olsen. In 905 minutes played, the 33 year old has scored 4 goals (including a stoppage time game-winner against NYCFC that clinched United's spot in the playoffs). A burst of form from Chris Pontius pushed the veteran target man to the bench in the final three regular season games as well as in the knockout round match against the New England Revolution, but Olsen used "Sabo" as his first sub in each of those games. With Pontius looking like a doubt for Sunday's game, it seems certain that Saborio - whose goals per 90 pace with United would see him score 14 goals in a full 34 game season - will start for the Black-and-Red in a must-win game.