RSL (11-6-3) snapped a four-game winless streak. Real also snapped a three-game winless streak at its home stadium. Portland (5-8-4) lost its third straight road game and is still winless away from home this season.
“We made it very clear to our players that we wanted to get back to the basics and establish a foundation," said head coach Jason Kreis. "I think we did that Wednesday night not allowing Seattle to score against us and then put it all together tonight. I feel like we’ve moved a step in the right direction.”
Saborio broke a 251-minute scoring drought for RSL in the 60th minute. Luis Gil crossed the ball up top to Kyle Beckerman. Then Beckerman floated a pass down to Saborio in the center of the box. Saborio headed in the ball to make it 1-0.
“The first goal was like ‘Oh, finally!’ because we try hard and today it was good," said Saborio, who now has scored 10 goals this season. "It’s important. It’s 3 goals that I’ve scored in one game only a few times in my career and I feel very happy about it. Hopefully we can continue like that and make some more wins and goals.”
He came up with an even better goal two minutes later. Chris Wingert fired a pass deep into the center of the box. Saborio met the ball on the run and headed it past Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins to give RSL a 2-0 advantage.
Saborio scored his third goal on the night on a penalty kick in the 75th minute to record just the third hat trick in Real Salt Lake history.
"It was mounting a little bit after a few losses, and everybody was freaking out and it’s understandable," said Wingert about the pressure to end their 4-match winless streak. "We don’t want to get too high or too low from the way everybody else is reacting. Whether it’s great things or bad things, but we’re trying to stay on an even keel, but it’s tough after a few loses. We’re competitive guys and we’ve had some success the last few years where it starts to take its toll and you need a win like this to get you back in decent form."
RSL next takes on first place San Jose July 14th at 8:30p.m. on ABC4.