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RSL Soapbox Mailbag: Albert Rusnak on the wing, second-half RSL and more

You asked, we answered.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Andy: 1) Yes. 2) Yes. 3) Great!

Matt: I’m glad to hear you’re doing great, Andy. I’m also doing well.

Kreg: Both. Hi back Chiqui! I’m toasting nicely down in So. Utah.

Dave: Always be open for an offer. Help him to showcase his existing talents and not force him to remake himself.


  1. I think the team has a history of demanding too much of Rusnak. He’s always been a winger and we’ve used him as an attacking mid and a forward. I think the only demand we can make of him as supporters is to get up to speed with Anderson Julio and Rubio Rubin. We should also hope that he’ll become more of a provider instead of just taking low-probablility shots.
  2. Regardless of how he performs on the wing, the team should either re-sign him or take money for him in the summer window. There’s a lot of depth at the wing and if we hold on until the end of the season he’ll go on a free and that is bad business.
  3. Hola! Estoy bien. Un poco frio.

Stockton: If he’s playing, he should be offering way more than he has the past couple of years. Now that he’s captain, his performances should live up to that standard, but they haven’t. If he doesn’t improve soon, I would 100% sell him in the summer window. I am doing great, and hope you all are doing well too.

Andy: Not being a game behind everyone else would help. Of course, I’d say that excuse goes out the window at game 3.

Dave: No immediate change necessary. Attempting to game plan for individual teams and different styles by its nature force teams to see what the opponent is bringing on the day.

Megan: I’m sure this response will come back to haunt me, but I’m not mad about starting sluggishly right now. If we can concede and score two to rebound all year, I say we’re good to go.

Dave: Be happy that depth is getting early time on the field. How far will Guatemala go in World Cup qualifying?

Matt: Yeah, I can only really echo what Dave has said. I do think it’s interesting that we started with no injuries at all, which is basically unprecedented.

Kreg: Sadly, eventually the other teams will figure out how to defend against us once video of our games is widely available to them. We’ve rapidly moved on from the “26th ranked team” and have shown that it’s best not to underestimate RSL. Best option, for now is to keep on plugging away. We have two serious threats up top, and most teams already know what Damir can do so they’ll sleep on him at their peril. Can’t watch every player at the same time.

Andy: That recognition has started; the real question, I’d say, is can we continue to play sexy soccer?

Dave: As long as we have multiple forwards with an excellent chance at double digit goals this season.

Kreg: Have they ever truly been okay?

Andy: Soccer balls break Wonderwalls. Who knew?

Dave: What is MLS without a fired coach early in the season?

Stockton: Doesn’t seem like it... Can someone let them know that the only things that should be as salty as they have been are Wendy's fries and the great salt lake?

Megan: No, but it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

Kreg: I’ll pass on this until we see what Wood can do in his first few games.

Andy: What I’m hoping for is a decent distribution of contribution from a lot of players over a lot of contribution from just one or two players. That’s when RSL is best.

Dave: Rather let’s have a good race of the RSL golden boot with several contenders scoring double digit goals. Hard to shut down a group than an individual.

Stockton: The others have a great point. I’d love to see multiple people scoring goals by the buckets. But currently, I’d have to say Rubio Rubin may end up with both.

Andy: “What happens at eleven o’clock?” —Henry Jones

Dave: I surely hope not...

Stockton: I wish!!! I miss Utah Royals FC dearly. I hope and pray every day that the new owner will be willing to bring them back. If they’re reading this, I beg of you to bring us an NWSL team again.

Matt: Both can, certainly, but I actually think we give Ashtone Morgan a run-out — he was very good in preseason, offered a unique attacking threat, and gave me a little hope for left-back depth. The bigger question for me is around Aaron Herrera’s injury — while he was walking around just fine after the match, it gave me a little worry.

The other thing I’d add is a little caution. While Andrew Brody was really good on Saturday, I think it’s worth holding judgment until he has a few matches under his belt. I say that as somebody who is very excited for Brody and what he showed, but I think it’s worth keeping in mind.

Dave: How about we allow them to play their current positions for a few games before we rush to shuffle the deck. Injuries will come and there will be time to try things as the compressed 2021 season continues.

Megan: I am a big Aaron Herrera person and I think it is important to let them play where they’re comfortable. We’ve seen what playing players out of position can do in the past (looking right at Brooks Lennon here...) so for now, I say keep them where they are successful. That being said, I think should push come to shove, Aaron could make it work on the left.

Matt: I can’t answer that for Herrera, but I do think he’s a very good right back, and if he improves on his very good 2020 season, I think he deserves to be in the conversation for the USA. But national team selection and national identity are complicated things, and he should play for whatever team he identifies with that wants him.

Dave: Plenty of opportunity left with the USMNT.

Matt: I learned recently that Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” depicts on the right side — the part with God extending his finger — a period-accurate depiction of the human brain. How cool is that?

Andy: The Sarus Crane is the world’s tallest flying bird and can reach a standing height of 1.8 meters (like 5’11” in archaic measurings). I stand 1.87 meters, so I’d still win in a fight to the death. I made up that last sentence. It’s not on Wikipedia.

Kreg: Mount Athos in Greece is a small peninsula that is home to over 20 monasteries, the oldest has been continuously in use since 800 AD. Special permits are required to visit, and only men are allowed on the peninsula.

Dave: The oldest existing stone torii was built in the 12th century and belongs to a Hachiman Shrine in Yamagata prefecture.

Stockton: This isn’t from Wikipedia, but I recently learned that cheetahs don’t roar, but they meow instead. Crazy.

Andy: There are blue ones for him to shoot now, too!

Matt: I’m pretty sure I can convince him. Let’s see if it works.

Matt: It’s sure looking like there are legs, which is interesting to me — it’s a move that will cost money, and we don’t have an owner investing in the team right now. It makes me wonder if we are expecting an offer for Albert Rusnak — that’s the one that makes the most sense to me as a value proposition. Either that, or we’d be bringing in Menendez on loan with an option to buy. I dunno, we’ll see.

As for our current wingers, I don’t think it spells anything positive for Justin Meram. He’s already the odd one out, after all. Oh, and Jeizon Ramirez, but he’s already so far out of contention that we’re all a little puzzled.

Matt: Check back after we’ve played five games. I’ve been really curious about this, but I want to make sure the sample size is good. I will say that his run for Rubio Rubin’s first goal on Saturday was very important, and sometimes, invisible things are also important things.

Matt: Sure, I think so. Herrera is good on the left — not quite at his level on the right, but that’s a high level most of the time — and that would make room for Brody to play on the right. Or maybe Brody could play on the left, I’m not really sure.