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Rusnák announces departure from Real Salt Lake after 5 years

Albert Rusnak, Aaron Herrera
Posted at 8:54 PM, Jan 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-08 23:12:59-05

SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake's captain will not be with the team next season.

Albert Rusnák, who captained RSL in 2021 and has played for the club since 2017, announced Saturday that he would not be returning.

"My time at Real Salt Lake is done," the Slovakian midfielder wrote in an Instagram post, "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."

Rusnák added in his message to fans that "playing in front of you and representing the Claret-and-Cobalt has truly been an honor."

He did not say where he would be going.

In his five seasons with RSL, the midfielder has tallied 41 goals and 39 assists in 140 regular-season matches, including 135 starts. In the 2021 season, he scored 11 goals and had 11 assists in 34 regular-season starts.

"Thank you for your passion, support and the love you expressed to me, my family and the team," Rusnák added in his post.

He is "among the league’s highest-profile free agents this offseason," according to a report by mlssoccer.com, and he has been "reliably linked to interest from Seattle Sounders FC and D.C. United."

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that both Rusnák and RSL officials initially hoped they could reach a deal to keep him with the club. General manager Elliot Fall said at the time that "the uncertainty surrounding our ownership situation makes it more difficult,” but he was still optimistic that he would stick around.

After over a year of uncertainty, RSL finally has a new full-time coach and new owners. Last month, Pablo Mastroeni was named the head coach after a partial season as interim head coach. Then just this week, the team was bought by Ryan Smith and David Blitzer.