SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, April 11, 2017) – Real Salt Lake MF Albert Rusnák was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the sixth week of the 2017 MLS season.
Rusnák scored the game-winning goal and added two assists as RSL ousted Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-0 in a snowy match at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, giving Salt Lake its first win of the season in new Head Coach Mike Petke‘s debut on the bench for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
After controlling the match for much of the first half, Real Salt Lake broke through against Vancouver on a great combination between Rusnák and Joao Plata. With evening snowfall causing havoc on the field, balls played on the ground held up in unexpected ways, so Plata’s ball into the attacking-third caused Rusnák to slow up before collecting it, cutting inside to his right foot and still beating Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted for the 1-0 advantage. He would go on to add assists on goals from Yura Movsisyan and Luke Mulholland to put the game well out of reach for the visiting Whitecaps FC.
Rusnák, 22, has one goal and three assists in five appearances this season after coming over from Groningen in Holland during the off-season. He is the first RSL player to earn the award since Chris Schuler on August 11, 2014.
With the win, RSL improved to 1-3-2 (5 points) and will play the first of three matches in the Rocky Mountain Cup on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.
Real Salt Lake’s All-Time Player of the Week Winners
2006: Jeff Cunningham, Week 18; Jeff Cunningham, Week 20; Chris Klein, Week 21.
2007: Jeff Cunningham, Week 1.
2008: Robbie Findley, Week 10; Fabian Espindola, Week 23.
2009: Javier Morales, Week 6; Yura Movsisyan, Week 19; Pablo Campos, Week 24, Robbie Findley, Week 32.
2010: Javier Morales, Week 1; Álvaro Saborio, Week 14; Javier Morales, Week 20.
2011: Javier Morales, Week 2; Jean Alexandre, Week 12.
2012: Álvaro Saborio, Week 18.
2013: Olmes Garcia, Week 15; Álvaro Saborio, Week 22.
2014: Nick Rimando, Week 1; Nick Rimando, Week 7; Joao Plata, Week 9; Chris Schuler, Week 22.
2017: Albert Rusnák, Week 6.