Albert Rusnák is ready to prove what he can do as the No. 10 this year.

After missing the first few weeks with an ankle injury, Rusnák has returned to the lineup in the last three games and is ready to make his mark.

An already impactful player for the Seattle Sounders, Rusnák’s versatility and efforts in multiple positions over the last two seasons has led him to this moment in becoming a more attacking asset for the team.

It’s a role that’s been ingrained in his game since he first engaged in the sport of soccer. Now, he’s ready to ignite that fire once again and hone in on the valuable experiences that have made him the offensive-minded player he is today.

Beginning at the age of 13 years old, the Slovakian took a leap of faith and moved to England to progress his soccer career at global powerhouse Manchester City. As a rostered player in both the Academy level and eventually the Elite Development Squad – City’s second team – Rusnák was competing with the best of the best around the world.

“It wasn’t easy to keep your spot and fight for that next contract, for the first professional contract,” said Rusnák. “There were new players coming in every couple of weeks, and they'd be trialists, but they were quality players. And Man City being the club of their magnitude could have signed anybody if they really liked them.”


It is a challenging route for any player to take on, especially at a young age, but the midfielder used it to his advantage to fuel his development and building his professional soccer resume in both Europe and in North America. 

“It's about getting out of your comfort zone and that's what I did in the early days of kicking the ball around,” said Rusnák. “I think that's part of who I am and where I am today.”

From Manchester City, Rusnák was loaned out to multiple clubs in League One in order to gain “first team experience.” But it wasn’t until his last loan to Eredivisie, the top flight in the Netherlands, where his career began to take off.

“That's where it all really started and clicked,” said Rusnák. “It's a great league for young players to go and kind of develop and learn the Dutch way of playing football.”

He began his Eredivisie tenure as a loan player for SC Cambuur and then permanently moved to FC Groningen for two-and-a-half years, where he led his team to victory in the Dutch Cup and helped them qualify for the Europa League after tallying a brace in the final.

“I had great coaches, and everyone taught me something else or showed me another way of playing the game and seeing the game,” said Rusnák. “That league was great.”


A successful stint in Holland opened a new opportunity for the Slovak player: to join Major League Soccer. So, in 2017, he moved to a different continent to embark on a new journey with Real Salt Lake.

It was no surprise he flourished immediately upon arrival.

In his first season with the Claret and Cobalt, he notched seven goals, winning the club’s Golden Boot, and tallied 14 assists, which was tied for third in the league at the time. His impact continued for four more seasons, finishing his RSL stint with 41 goals and 39 assists.

His soccer journey eventually led him to the Seattle Sounders in 2022, where he continues to thrive as one of the team’s three Designated Players.

Aside from his whopping seven game-winners last season, his influence on the pitch has gone beyond the box score. Whether it’s his ability to dictate tempo in possession, the way he reads the game, or his penchant to move on and off the ball in the center of the pitch, he serves as a vital piece to the team’s success.

“I just want to try to make the team better,” said Rusnák. “And if that meant me playing a lot deeper and playing next to JP, for the most part as a six, then I was happy to do that. I'm not selfish or anything to want to be the highest scorer of the team and have the most assists.”

“If you play well, those things will come.”


And he’s determined to make an even bigger impression in 2024 as he transitions into a more permanent role as the No. 10.

“The goals are almost the same as the past two years, but individually, now that I’m playing higher on the field, it’d be goals and assists, playing well in that position, creating for the guys around me and just being a part of a successful team.”

In his first two seasons, Rusnák has become a Concacaf Champions League winner and participant of the Club World Cup with the Rave Green. Now in his third season, he is hopeful he and his teammates can make more memories and win more hardware.

“Ultimately, we play for trophies and that's why we're in this business, in this sport, to win,” said Rusnák.



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