Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnák experienced an unusual feeling when he found out he would miss two matches with his club for international duty: relief.
“I’m actually happy I’m going to get out of here for a minute because there’s a lot that’s going on off the field,” Rusnák said after training Tuesday, “and the people to speak to about that are probably the higher up people in the club, and they know what’s going on.”
The Slovakia national team called up Rusnák for two friendlies on May 31 and June 4, when Slovakia hosts the Netherlands and Morocco, respectively.
Rusnák will miss RSL’s next two home games, against Houston May 30 and Seattle June 2.
RSL coach Mike Petke calls his relationship with Rusnák “solid.”
He added: “Albert and the team and his teammates are solid, so if there’s anything else going on you’re going to have to ask Albert or somebody else who perhaps could address that.”
RSL General manager Craig Waibel declined to comment.
It is not clear if the “off the field” issues Rusnák referenced are connected to the release of the player salaries by MLS Players Association on May 10.
However, the attacking midfielder, RSL’s co-leader in goals and assists with three of each, has the third-highest salary on the team ($907,820.50 total compensation). He is set to earn over $250,000 less this year than Alfredo Ortuño, a much-anticipated striker who has made just three appearances this season, two of which were as a sub.