CLUB: Real Salt Lake
YEARS PRO: 5
It's never easy replacing a legend, which exactly what has been asked of Slovakian international Albert Rusnak. Two months after Argentine talisman Javier Morales announced his departure from the club, Real Salt Lake signed the 23-year-old Slovakian as a young Designated Player to fill Morales' creative attacking role. While RSL sputtered out of the gate, Rusnak has found his footing over the course of the season and forged a promising relationship with fellow youngster Jefferson Savarino, who finished at No. 22 on this list, and Joao Plata. His 13 assists are tied for the fifth-most in MLS and his 3.27 chances created per 90 minutes is the second-highest average in the league.
What the technical staffers say:
"He’s really tidy with the ball, very good technique. He serves the ball well, and is a good one-on-one dribbler. He causes teams problems, gets them off balance when he runs at them."
"His timing of his runs off the ball are very good."
"I think Rusnak is a spectacular player. And the reason is he possesses something most attacking players don’t, and that’s patience to live between the lines."
"If you watch a lot of film, and you see the way [Real Salt Lake] is starting to go forward with the pieces around him…I think Rusnak is a star in the making. His better years are to come, and he’s someone we’ll be talking about next year and the year after."