I’m going to give you the truth. It’s not fun. It’s not pretty. But it’s what I think. The picture at the top of the article, don’t forget that as you read through these next paragraphs.
As a fanbase we’re on high alert, and we have reason to be so. It seems that the best and most consistent player on the squad wants out, or at least is unsatisfied with the happenings around here. I don’t blame him. Finding out that he is making less than Alfredo Ortuno whom is a few months away from being a “complete bust,” as well as Damir Krielach, whom while is an incredibly talented player, seems to be inconsistent and is having trouble meshing in the midfield. Take this into account meshed with what we are still paying Yura Movsisiyan. In terms of wage payout, he is worth every dime and in my eyes deserves to be paid more. If the reports are true, being that he has attempted to negotiate a new contract since January, I can only imagine his irritation. This is not to even mention the disastrous spell the team is on despite the promise of last year.
From what I know about football, I have good news, and I have bad news.
The Good News.
Albert Rusnak won’t be going to Sparta Prague. I could be wrong of course, but if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet against myself here. Albert Rusnak came to MLS because he thought it was an upgrade for his career. Sparta Prague is not an upgrade for his career. It was not a step up from a mid-table Dutch club and it’s sure as hell not a step up from Real Salt Lake.
Sparta Prague, while an extremely high-caliber team in the context of the league that they play in, were the bottom of their group the last time they played in Europe back in 2005. They’re trying to crack a spot and create opportunities to be in big European football games in the future. I doubt Albert wants to be part of a team “trying to make the crack.”
1.5-2 million euros is lowball. (Depending on which report you believe) It’s outrageous, offensive and embarrassing for a player of the caliber. It sounds like an offer that someone with zero qualifications like myself would make after taking a gander at Transfermarkt. Unless Albert was incredibly, incredibly, unhappy here, I doubt our club would even consider it. If I were Albert, and I knew another club only valued me at 1.5-2 million euros, I would be pissed too. I’m better than that, and I prove it on the pitch every game.
The Bad News.
Albert Rusnak won’t be here for that much longer. He might be gone by the end of the summer, I hope not, but he might. If he’s here next season, I would wager that he won’t be here the year after that. He’s no Javier Morales, he’s going to better than Javier Morales, and he was never going to be here as long as Javier Morales from the beginning. Frankly, that’s okay.
Albert should do what is best for his career, and he has every capability to do so. Coming from a very solid Manchester City Academy, he’s now becoming a mainstay on a very good Slovakian squad that just barely missed the World Cup.
Albert’s aspirations aren’t to be here long-term, they never were. In terms of what he wants and what is culturally attractive, he wants bigger and better, and frankly, Major League Soccer is not Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, or the Premier League. Albert wants those types of things, and has the talent, work ethic, connections and professionalism to maybe do it. I say let him.
A hot take, cheer him while he does it. Remember the times like just a few weeks ago when he pointed to the badge on his chest after scoring a beautiful goal. Albert’s a professional who gives his all and cares about his teammates, his club and his community through and through. Such professionalism doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t follow what is ultimately the best for him and chase the dreams that he wants to chase.
More Good News.
In European football, it’s rare for you to stay in one place for very long. Not everyone can have their own Totti. At Feyenoord, we have a rotational cast that comes in and out every few years, it’s something that you just get used to, but keep this in mind.
Who is our replacement to the Maestro, Javier Morales? He’s in the academy, or he will be soon. So lets go find him. Mark my words. I’ll leave myself and the fanbase with what I wrote nearly a year ago, minus a few weeks.
Investing and selling youth doesn’t always assure success, but for Feyenoord it played a big role. On May 14th, Dirk Kuyt scored a hat trick and my club won the Eredivisie for the first time in 18 years. 14 members of that squad were products of their own academy. Three of those players recently broke out onto the dutch national scene and will hopefully rejuvenate the struggling national team. Granted, it is almost a guarantee that Rick Karsdorp, Tonny Vilhena, and Terence Kongolo will leave Feyenoord and depart for bigger European clubs in the next year or two, but that’s the beauty of the academy. Half of the excitement is watching the seeds on the sideline bloom.
Kongolo left, he’s been a standout for Huddersfield Town. Rick Karsdorp moved to Roma. Vilhena is going this summer. You know who stepped up? 18 year old Tyrell Malacia. 19 year old Dylan Vente. 21 year old Kevin Diks. We may not have won the league again, but we did win the KNVB Cup, and the Dutch Supercup. I’m completely okay with that. Let what’s going to happen happen.
So, Mike Petke, play Danilo Acosta at left back. Play Brooks Lennon on the right wing. Play Pablo Ruiz in the midfield. Keep having Corey and Bofo start. Give Richard Ledezma and Sebastian Soto opportunities. Albert or no Albert, I love this club and I can’t wait for the future. When the time comes for him to go, I wish him the best, because I think he’ll kill it anywhere he goes, and so will we.
Always a badge, never a player.