HERRIMAN, Utah(Tuesday, November 9, 2021) – Real Salt Lake captain Albert Rusnák has been called to the Slovakia National Team for its upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches against Slovenia on November 11 and Malta on November 14. Rusnák is expected to return prior to RSL’s first round Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff match against Seattle Sounders FC on November 23.
Rusnák, 27, has 41 goals and 39 assists in 140 matches since coming to Real Salt Lake prior to the 2017 season, including 11 goals and 11 assists in 34 matches played this year. Rusnák started each of the Club’s 34 regular season matches this season and was just 15 minutes shy of featuring in every available minute in 2021, totaling 3,045 and becoming the first-ever RSL player to surpass 3,000 minutes in a single season.”
Rusnak has scored five goals in 32 matches for his home country and helped them qualify for the 2020 UEFA European Championship, which was delayed to the summer of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In Round 1 of World Cup Qualifying for UEFA, Slovakia is in Group H with Russia, Croatia, Cyprus Slovenia and Malta. Although Slovakia failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, they currently sit in third place, seven points adrift of current second-place Croatia and nine points behind first-place Russia.
The top team from each of the UEFA groups will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the second-place teams advancing to the second round.
Ten total teams will compete in the second round consisting of the 10 second place teams and the best two Nation’s League group winners based on the Nations League overall ranking that finished outside the top-two of their qualifying group. Each team will be separated into three playoff paths with each path featuring two single-leg semifinals and one single-leg semifinal. The winners of each path will then qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Slovakia’s best finish at a World Cup came in 2010 where the team qualified for the Round 16 in South Africa after claiming first in its group during World Cup qualifiers.
Real Salt Lake will open its Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff run on Tuesday, November 23 at Seattle Sounders FC in a first round clash. Kick off from Lumen Field is set for 8:30 p.m. MT with the match being broadcast nationally on FS1, FOX Deportes in the United States and in Canada on TSN / TVA Sports. Additional coverage of the match will occur via ESPN700 AM (English radio), 104.3 La Gran D (Spanish radio) and RSL.com and the Club’s social channels.