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2017 Player Profiles: Albert Rusnak

Easily one of the best players in MLS this year, was there any doubt that Rusnak would top the list of RSL’s best?

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

I remember when I first heard that Albert Rusnak had been signed. As excited as I was to sign someone so young and handsome, it didn’t really feel like a saving grace signing.

His signing was also overshadowed (to me at least) by the potential signing of Landon Donovan. It was an exciting time to be an RSL fan, because that kind of PR stuff never happens here. It happens in places like LA, or New York, or Minnesota—never Utah, though.

So, it was exciting to potentially have someone like Landon Donovan pick RSL over the countless other teams I’m sure would have loved him… But that didn’t happen, and this piece isn’t about him.

Albert Rusnak was officially signed by Real Salt Lake on January 6. He was signed as Young DP, coming from Dutch club FC Groningen with Manchester City academy roots.

He played 30 games this year, starting in 29 of them, scored a whopping 7 goals (all of which were complete beauties) and recorded 14 assists. To say he hasn’t been one of RSLs most explosive and rewarding signings in recent memory would be to ignore how well he played this season despite playing under two coaches. When one considers how well he played despite living in a new country and becoming a regular call up for his home nation of Slovakia, it’s hard to see how he didn’t get the Newcomer of the Year award. But I digress.

We have a true star in Albert. And I try not to say that often. In a league where the likes of Giovinco, Bradley, Altidore, Morrow, Ricketts, etc. all play on one team. With Dempsey, Lodeiro, Roldan, Morris, Torres, etc. on another. And so many more on other teams, it’s hard to say that anything is a sure-thing.

Albert proved his ability to play well in 2017, and barring some kind of slump that we have seen in the past, in the form of several players, I think he’ll lead RSL into contention for all three major playoff trophies.