Real Salt Lake has found its replacement for club legend Javier Morales. The Claret and Cobalt made the transfer of Albert Rusnak from FC Groningen official on Friday. Rusnak is a 22-year-old creative midfielder from Slovakia who made 61 appearances in two seasons in the Eredivisie.
“We are extremely excited about what Albert can bring to our attack,” Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel said. “The arrival from Europe of a young player of his caliber is a big move for our club.”
“He has a really solid pedigree from one of the world’s most-respected academies, and what he’s done as a young professional to help FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie and for Slovakia on the international level are excellent indicators that he can contribute right away with RSL,” Waibel said.
Rusnak started his career at Manchester City, where his dad was a scout, before going on three loan spells, two in England and one in the Netherlands. He joined Groningen in 2015 and he made his debut for Slovakia’s senior team in 2016.
Orlando City re-signs trio of players
Three key parts of the Orlando City defense re-signed with the club on Friday. Defensive midfielder Servando Carrasco and defenders Kevin Alston and Seb Hines agreed to terms with the Lions to bolster the depth of Jason Kreis’ side.
“Servando, Kevin and Seb proved to be important assets for our team last year and we are excited to keep them,” Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic said.
Carrasco, who joined Orlando in the middle of the 2015 season, was inked to a new two-year deal. Alston agreed to a one-year contract and Hines put pen to paper on a three-year deal. Orlando needs to improve on its defensive record from a year ago when it let in 60 goals.
Colorado announces pair of homegrown players
The Colorado Rapids got in on the homegrown player signing frenzy on Friday afternoon, as they signed a pair young players to deals.
Defender Kortne Ford and midfielder Ricardo Perez, who were both a part of the Rapids academy, were signed to the first team. Ford played the last college season at the University of Denver and Perez was named the Big East Midfielder of the Year at Creighton University.
“We are thrilled to have Kortne and Richi officially join our first team. We have kept a close eye on both players after watching them develop through our Academy system, as well as at the collegiate level,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “Kortne and Richi have shown a great deal of commitment and dedication to the Rapids family, and we look forward to continuing their progression on a daily basis here in Colorado.”
Atlanta United set to play first game in new stadium in July
After five months of games at Bobby Dodd Stadium on the campus of Georgia Tech, Atlanta United will open Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 30. The opponent for the match at the club’s new stadium will be announced next week.
Atlanta United will play the first sporting event inside the new stadium that will also play home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. The venue is scheduled to host a slew of college football games as well in its opening months.
Former Watford midfielder Ross Jenkins could be on his way to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Jenkins last played in Romania, but has been training in England of late.
D.C. United hired Ryan Martin as the head of its academy. Martin was an assistant at FC Cincinnati for the last two years under former D.C. player John Harkes. He also has previous experience at Wake Forest.
The Columbus Crew promoted Nico Estevez to first-team assistant coach. The 36-year-old previously held a position with the club’s academy.