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Albert Rusnak - Real Salt Lake - LAFC
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Albert Rusnak Reflects On Recent Heartbreak, Determined To Find Form & Produce For RSL

Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) reacts to missing a shot on goal as Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC play an MLS game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The past week has been the most challenging week of Albert Rusnak’s career, and it isn’t close. He found out that he was left off the Slovakian roster ahead of the UEFA European Championships via a voicemail, despite having been a main contributor in helping his beloved country get to the tournament.

European Agony

Rusnak started in the must-win EURO Qualifier against Northern Ireland that ultimately sent Slovakia to the tournament. His absence is confusing and a “long story, but the bottom line is that they just decided to go with someone else,” Rusnak said shortly after admitting that his absence is the “biggest disappointment” so far in his professional career.

Yet, despite the heartache and sadness, Rusnak is ready to get back to the pitch and compete for his beloved Real Salt Lake. He is focused on helping his team win and finding form. In his world, the tasks at hand are not complicated. His vision is clear and his mind is determined.

Inevitably, Rusnak will find form soon. Patches of good and bad form are a constant for the majority of professional athletes. This is not the first time Rusnak is lacking confidence and will not be the last.

“I am a believer in hard work and determination,” Rusnak said. “There is no doubt in my mind that things are going to turn around…The goals and assists, that’s all going to come.”

All Eyes On RSL

Yet, despite Rusnak’s absence from the Slovakian National Team and his form slump with RSL to start the MLS year, Rusnak does not feel as though he needs to use his hurt and frustration from missing out on international duty to further motivate him at the club level.

“I haven’t reached a point yet where I have no motivation at all so therefore I do not think I have to search for the extra motivation.”

The belief for Rusnak is that his form will come when the time is right. He will continue to work hard for the club, track back and defend, work tirelessly for his teammates, and eventually, the impact on the outcome of games will come. There is no secret equation to return to form, every player is different. Fortunately, Rusnak is a more experienced player who has dealt with similar scenarios and can use those experiences to help him fight through this challenging time.

Captain’s Respect

Love him or hate him, you must respect him. Rusnak acts like all captains should – selfless. It seems apparent that despite the frustration from the fanbase his mentality and attitude will never falter. He plays the game of soccer for his teammates with the hope of impacting the game as frequently as he can and on the odd occasion that his impact is not felt, as long as the team wins you know he will be happy.

Rusnak needs to find form for RSL to reach its maximum potential. Fortunately, Rusnak is doing everything he can to make that possible. He is the first player to arrive at the facility and the last player to leave.

At some point, Rusnak will have the sort of impact the RSL faithful expects of him and when that happens I hope the fans in the stands show their appreciation to a player that bleeds Claret and Cobalt. Rusnak is the heartbeat of the club and will be throughout at least the 2021 season, so get used to seeing #11 play.

 

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