The rest of the league didnâ€™t take it easy on Real Salt Lake when they were struggling early in the year.
Now Albert Rusnak is returning the favor.
Real Salt Lakeâ€™s second-half turnaround has come through the feet of their 23-year-old playmaker, one of the most exciting young talents in the league. And while Rusnak stood out during RSLâ€™s early season struggles, heâ€™s now surging alongside an offense full of entertaining young pieces.
Before the MLS All-Star Game, the Slovakian international averaged a very strong 510 Audi Player Index points per game. Since the break, heâ€™s found a new gear.
Rusnak has started the past 13 matches, recording four goals and eight assists during that timeframe. Over the season, he also ranks among the Audi Player Index leaders in assists and key passes, cementing his status as an elite setup man.
His performances have been reflected in the standings, as well — since the All-Star Game, Mike Petkeâ€™s squad has posted a 5-2-2 record and handed out some lopsided scorelines to Western Conference rivals like San Jose and Colorado.
Currently sitting one spot below the red line, the Claret-and-Cobalt have two more chances to pick up points before invitations to the postseason are finalized. The first opportunity comes this Sunday, when they travel to a Colorado Rapids side that finds itself already eliminated from playoff contention (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).