The anticipation — and the watch — is over on where Albert Rusnák will sign. After being linked to almost every club in Major League Soccer, and a few overseas, Rusnák ended the weeks-long speculation of where he will continue his career. On Thursday, it was officially announced that he would sign with the Seattle Sounders FC.
His contract is for two years, with a club option for 2024.
Rusnák signed a Designated Player contract with the Sounders. Other DPs on the Sounders roster include Raúl Ruidíaz and Nicolás Lodeiro. He will take the DP spot that has been freed up by João Paulo — Paulo still remains with the club, but has been signed to a contract using TAM.
“I am very pleased to add a player of Albert’s caliber to our roster,” Brian Schmetzer, Sounders manager, said. “For years, he has been one of the more difficult players we’ve had to face, so I’m more than happy we get to welcome him to our team as preseason camp begins.”
“We are very excited to welcome such a quality player like Albert to Seattle,” General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said. “At 27, he is in the prime of his career and already knows our league very well. We’re confident his addition puts our roster in a very good position to succeed in 2022.”
Rusnák was a thorn in the side of the Sounders last year, scoring in both regular-season meetings last year. Rusnák did miss out on the highly-contested playoff match between the two sides, but Real Salt Lake advanced over Seattle in the first round in 2021. Now, Rusnák reunites with former head coach Freddy Juarez, who is an assistant under Schmetzer.
Rusnák features internationally for Slovakia, scoring seven goals in 34 appearances.
Albert Rusnàk is going to look GOOD in Rave Green 🔥
Highlights of our latest signing! 🎥 pic.twitter.com/tM56ymu2xA
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) January 13, 2022
Three Takeaways on Rusnák to Seattle
- The RSL to Seattle train: As mentioned, the Sounders not only got Rusnák, but during the season last year the team picked up an assistant coach in Juarez. Seattle has been cherrypicking Real Salt Lake for the last few months, and this signing was the icing on the cake.
- Will Rusnák replicate last year’s numbers?: The depth chart is interesting in Seattle. Not only do you (presumably) have Ruidíaz returning, but you also have a healthy Jordan Morris back from injury. While there have been talks about Will Bruin staying or potentially leaving for Atlanta, he’s not a starter. Fredy Montero is a free agent and has yet to sign with another team. Seattle is stacked on the attack, and Rusnák will only make the team better. But, with all that talent, will he see the career-high 11 goals he scored last year? That combination of Morris-Ruidíaz-Rusnák could be lethal.
- Circle these matches: Enough said here. Sounders fans, Real Salt Lake fans, you’re going to want to circle these dates. On March 3, Rusnák will return to Salt Lake City, and on Aug. 14, his former teammates will pay him a visit at Lumen Field.
Seattle Sounders 2022 Roster
Goalkeepers (2): Stefan Frei, Andrew Thomas
Defenders (6): Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Jimmy Medranda, Nouhou, Brad Smith
Midfielders (11): Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Léo Chú, Ethan Dobbelaere, João Paulo, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák, Obed Vargas, Dylan Teves
Forwards (4): Samuel Adeniran, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Raúl Ruidíaz