Albert Rusnak To Miss Six Of Remaining Nine Real Salt Lake Matches While On National Team Duties
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak has been called into the Slovakian National Team and will miss six of the remaining nine MLS matches remaining.
Rusnak will leave Utah on Saturday and will subsequently miss the upcoming game against Los Angeles Football Club this upcoming Sunday. He will also miss away fixtures against Seattle, Vancouver and Colorado and home fixtures against Portland and FC Dallas.
“Representing my country at the international level is special,” Rusnák said. “The knockout game against Ireland is all or nothing for us and with two more Nations League matches after that, against Scotland and Israel, it’s a great opportunity for us.”
The timing of Rusnak’s departure is unfortunate as the club currently sits in 8th position in the West. With just nine matches remaining, the Claret and Cobalt are eager to climb up the Western Conference and solidify themselves as a playoff contender.
Due to the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic travelling, specifically international travel has become far more difficult.
“We are happy for him that he’s going,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “We’d like to have him with us, but we understand the importance of the national team and we are happy for him that he can represent his country.”
Rusnak must pass a COVID-19 test here in Utah before embarking on the 12-hour flight to Slovakia. When he arrives in Slovakia he will then be required to pass another COVID-19 test before he is cleared to begin practicing with the Slovakian National Team.
The Slovakian National Team has a must-win match against Ireland on October 8th. If Rusnak and his teammates beat the Irish they will qualify for next year’s EURO’s, a tournament that provides qualification to the World Cup.
“We are excited for Albert to get this opportunity in such big games for Slovakia. It speaks volumes about what he means for his national team,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “Of course, we will miss him at RSL while he is away, but we are confident in our roster and we believe that the players we have will get the job done during Albert’s time with the national team.”
Following the match against Ireland, Rusnak will also compete in Nation’s League fixtures against Scotland and Israel.
According to current MLS safety protocols, Rusnák will remain quarantined for 10 days upon his return from Europe before returning to training.