Rusin made a surprising transfer move recently, jumping from the US-Canada 2nd division North American Soccer League Carolina RailHawks to HB Køge of the Danish Superliga. Jumping from the rugged instability of the non-MLS pro soccer to the 12th-ranked league in Europe (even a recently promoted club) is always impressive. North Carolina-based MLSReserves.com now has an interview up with the local hero.
It’s worth noting that Rusin was not completely off the MLS radar. An all-Pac-10 player at powerhouse UCLA (among his teammates: Jonathan Bornstein, Benny Feilhaber, and Kamani Hill) passed on the MLS draft in favor of trials in Norway before later joining the RailHaws, who under recently-appointed Vancouver Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie are the closest thing one can find to a power in non-MLS soccer. He remained on the MLS radar:
MLS Reserves: It was rumored that you were offered a contract by the LA Galaxy. Is this true? If so, why was it turned down?
Brad Rusin: “This is true…unfortunately a couple of their center backs had season ending injuries and Bruce Arena put a call in and asked me if I was interested in signing with the Galaxy. At the end of the day, I wanted more than they could pay me at the time. I set the bar pretty high knowing that if they really wanted me then they would have no problem with it. In my mind, if I am going to stay in the MLS you need to start out with a good salary because it is tougher to jump up in money in the MLS than in Europe. And again, I have always told myself that I wanted to go to Europe and if an MLS team did want me and thought highly of me then why not pay me for what I am worth?? To be honest, this is a part of my motivation to do well….to prove to those teams that I am better than they thought and to make them look back and think they missed their chance on a good player. I want to prove to everyone that I can play here and I belong here and I want to represent for the US as best I can.”
Køge is in last place (0-4-0 with a -8 goal differential) in the young SuperLiga season despite the 24 year-old’s spectacular goal in a loss to Lyngby. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on and is an interesting story of a guy who managed to parlay the obscurity of NASL into a big opportunity abroad.