Albert Rusnak came to Real Salt Lake in what turned out to be a tumultuous season. There were ups and downs for everyone, but Rusnak excelled overall. What does 2018 hold for the budding star?
What to know
Rusnak grew up in Slovakia playing club soccer until he went to Manchester City’s academy. He was thereafter loaned to a few different clubs until he landed at FC Groningen where he really took off scoring both goals in their championship game referred to as the KNVB Cup, similar to the FA Cup in England or the Open Cup in the United States. A year and a half later, RSL brought him to Utah.
What to expect in 2018
It’s hard to find someone that does not think Albert Rusnak was Real Salt Lake’s best player in 2017. He put seven goals in and ended the season with 14 assists. For a 23 year old acclimating to a new league, those are some impressive numbers. Rusnak was instrumental in RSL turning around their season. He played a huge role in Salt Lake ending their 2017 campaign in fantastic form, even though they came one point shy of making the MLS Playoffs.
That said, you can expect more of the same. He’s clearly a very talented player that is extremely skilled and calm on the ball.
What to hope for
Rusnak himself has stated that he may have caught some teams off guard last year since he was new in the league. This year, they will increasingly have him on their radar and surely strategize around how to slow him down.
The best case scenario is that he is a MVP contender. I think he’s that good. If RSL is having a good season, I would not be surprised to see him in that conversation. More tempered hopes are that he has a similar stat line as 2017, probably being in the top three in MLS for assists.