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RSL Soapbox reacts: Hands off Albert Rusnak

Albert Rusnak should stay in Claret and Cobalt.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

A troubling rumor floated down the turnpike yesterday: Albert Rusnak is the target of much attention from Europe.

That shouldn’t be surprising, given how immensely good Rusnak has been for Real Salt Lake. By holding a European passport, he’s more likely to be a target for those clubs.

While it’s not likely to happen, given he’s under contract for another three years, it sure gives us something to think about and, indeed, to worry about. Here’s what RSL Soapbox writers had to say.

CJ Guadarrama

Even though Matt said not to worry, and even though we all looked through several archives to confirm that we did indeed sign Albert to a “multiyear” deal, this one hit me like a stack of bricks. To say that I love this player would be an understatement. In him, I have filled the whole that Javi left inside of me, and to lose him so soon would be like a dagger cutting through the scar tissue to reopen a wound in desperate need of healing. All I want is one good year with him, Savarino, and a Wondoloski-esque #9. Silva is amazing, but with an attack the likes that this group has shown and a defense led by M. Silva and Glad standing in front of Rimando, I can see a strong run at all three trophies next year. I can’t ignore this. BBC sucks.

Benjamin Smith

Well isn’t this a hum dinger of a new story! It’s so big that I’m only allowed to use one gif! The drama is unbearable!

At the start of the season the whole organisational structure of the club proclaimed that 23 year old Slovakian Albert Rusnak was the man we would be building the team around. Those are big shoes to fill as it is without the added pressure of being the replacement for club legend Javier Morales so hearing news slowly break that Rusnak’s time at RSL might be the length of a good cup of coffee is shocking to say the least. He’d command a heavy fee to buy him out of the multi year contract he signed with the club and to cover the value of him being a the focal point of our plans. He’s one of the many young players we have who could lead the team to the promised land and an international level talent to boot.

And yet, I’m one of probably the very few people who isn’t worried about this.

Rusnak has been good this season, don’t get me wrong. He’s clearly an incredible talent however I don’t know how many times I’ve typed some variant “Rusnak needs to hit the target more consistently if he is going to shoot that often” this season. Acosta and Savarino have been the best young talents this season and I’d have a hard time putting Rusnak above Plata too.

Real Salt Lake has in the CAM position Rusnak, Hernandez and Bofo. Silva traditionally plays in that position even though he’s been a target man for the lions share of this season and one wildcard in all of this is Brooks Lennon who can also play here and has just as much (if not more) of an upside as Rusnak. If we have a deal in place to bring Lennon and a little profit in while Rusnak goes I would say that is a good deal for us.

Losing Rusnak would be hard to take as a fan and we would all be upset. It would be seen as a symbolic abandonment of the grand plans made at the start of this season, the thing we all held on to in order to keep us believing during this season. However I don’t think we would be weaker on the field if we picked up Lennon in the process or made a commitment to start one of our other young attacking midfielders.

Lucas Muller

My first reaction is:

After composing myself, I can formulate a few more meaningful thoughts.

Albert Rusnak has been RSL’s player of the year in 2017. He’s netted 7 goals and 13 assists so far. He’s smart, creative, effective, and young. It’s no surprise that other teams would show interest. While there has been no known offer, a player of his caliber is going to draw attention. For me, the idea of him leaving is pretty disheartening. If Real is going to be a club that looks to develop and sign young talent, this means we’re going to lose players. Not every player that takes the field for RSL is going to have the same tenure as Beckerman, Rimando, Morales, or Beltran. I want all our good players to spend their careers at RSL, but that’s just not realist.

I can take solace in the likelihood that if Albert were sold to another club, it would be in another league and for a good chunk of cash. RSL is in a small market, but if we can establish ourselves as a great place to develop as a young players, that helps the team. At the end of the day, I hope we don’t lose Albert for at least two or three more years. He’s been a constant positive in a season with a lot of ups and downs. After Javi left, I fully expected the number 10 spot to be a weakness and the team to struggle because of it. Albert has proved me 100% wrong and I love it. I have to believe that Craig Waibel and Andy Williams can find another good player, but I don’t want them to need to.

Dave Cheever

More power to him and the great future that he has worked so hard for and demonstrated here. I appreciate all he has done in such a short time and hope he remembers those poor souls knew him when.....

Onward and upward to the next great battle...

Mike Petke

Matt Montgomery here. No, we didn’t talk to Mike Petke. We didn’t query him on this. Here’s what he said anyway.