HERRIMAN, UTAH (Tuesday, March 16, 2021) – Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak has been named to Slovakia’s roster that will compete in the first stage of qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He is expected to return with RSL during the team’s preseason training stint in Tucson, Arizona from March 31-April 10.
“We are very excited for Albert to get this opportunity to help Slovakia qualify for the 2022 World Cup,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “He has already had success in getting Slovakia qualified for the Euros this summer and this is a tremendous opportunity for him to earn the spotlight on a big stage.”
Slovakia will begin qualification on March 24 on the road against Cyprus and will then head to Slovakia to face Malta on March 27 and Russia on March 30.
The 55 European FIFA-affiliated teams are broken up into 10 groups with Slovakia finding itself in Group H alongside Croatia, Cyprus Malta, Russia and Slovenia. The winner of each group will earn automatic qualification and the runner-ups will compete in a playoff for the remaining spots. Slovakia has not qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 2010, making a run to the Round of 16 before falling 2-1 to the Netherlands.
Rusnak has scored five goals in thirty matches for his home country and recently helped them qualify for the 2020 UEFA European Championship, which was delayed to the summer of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Since joining Real Salt Lake in 2017 the midfielder has logged 8,918 minutes in 106 matches, contributing 30 goals and 28 assists, which are the fifth and seventh-most in club history, respectively.
Real Salt Lake will begin its sixteenth season in Major League Soccer on Saturday, April 24 at Minnesota United and will return home the following weekend to take on Sporting Kansas City at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 1 at 12:00 p.m. MT.