SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – After five years and an electric last season with Real Salt Lake, the captain of the team, Albert Rusnak, has announced that he will not be returning to play for RSL next year.
Rusnak announced on his Instagram, “I want to take the time to let everyone know that the last 5 years playing in front of you and representing the Claret-and-Cobalt has truly been an honor.”
“My time at Real Salt Lake is done and while it is now time to say goodbye, please know that I will cherish our memories, how we overcame many obstacles, in the face of immeasurable odds,” Rusnak wrote. “Thank you for your passion, support and the love you expressed to me, my family and the team.”
The 27-year-old Slovakain was in a contract year, and had expressed interest in re-signing with the team back in November.
He complained that he wasn’t used properly at the start of last season by then head coach Freddy Juarez, playing as an outside midfielder. But he eventually returned to the center under Pablo Mastroeni, and his production increased.
In five seasons with RSL, Rusnak played in 140 regular season games, scoring 41 goals with 39 assists. Last season, Rusnak had 11 goals and 11 assists.
Real Salt Lake went on an improbable run last season, staging three consecutive dramatic finishes to get to the Western Conference Final, where they eventually lost the Portland Timbers.
It was still an incredible late-season run by RSL, who scored in the final 30 seconds to beat Sporting Kansas City to get into the playoffs on the final game of the regular season. Real Salt Lake then beat Seattle on penalty kicks after failing to register a single shot. Finally, Bobby Wood scored the game-winning goal for RSL in stoppage time to upset Sporting KC in playoffs.
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