College soccer typically doesn’t receive much attention, regardless of the university. Players, even the best of the best, are relative unknowns.
Most games aren’t televised, crowds are sparse and there’s little excitement until the NCAA Tournament. And when you play at mid-major UNLV, it’s even more difficult to stand out.
Yet, Las Vegas native and Liberty High product Danny Musovski flourished in his four-year Rebel career, setting a Western Athletic Conference record with 47 goals and 117 points to make his mark nationally. (UNLV soccer is part of the WAC because the Mountain West doesn’t offer the sport.)
Musovski is expected to be a first-round pick Friday in the MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia, cementing his claim as one of UNLV’s all-time greats. He’ll likely be the program’s highest draft pick into MLS, surpassing Boomer Arbelaez (30th overall in 2005) and Rod Dyachenko (31st in 2006), according to UNLV.
“I always believed it didn’t matter what school I went to as long as I played my game, I would get recognized,” said Musovski, a center forward. “I am in a good position now.”
Musovski had six goals and 18 points during his freshman season of 2014 with UNLV to catch the eye of MLS officials. Like many other top college players, he was invited during the summer to train with MLS teams, spending time with San Jose, Seattle and Kansas City.
Those clubs saw firsthand what Musovski does best: “I’m a guy who can score goals,” he said.
As a sophomore, Musovski scored 14 goals — the most for a UNLV player since 1990 — and was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. His 34 points were the fourth highest nationally, and multiple publications listed him as an All-American.
Then, as a junior, he led UNLV to its first NCAA Tournament win since 1987.
“You don’t pay attention to the stats and numbers when you are playing,” he said. “It’s all about the outcome of the games. When I came to UNLV, we weren’t necessarily a winning program. By the time I left, it was different. I had a good experience at UNLV.”
Musovski has been in Orlando all week at the MLS Combine, where draft hopefuls play a series of games leading up to the draft.
One mock draft has him being selected 13th overall to Kansas City, one of the teams he’s trained with.
“He banged in just about a goal per game as a senior, improving over very productive sophomore and junior years (and he was nearly part of last year’s GA class). This clearly fills a need for SKC, and given Peter Vermes’ history of trusting the draft, this would be a pretty good landing spot for the kid,” wrote Matt Doyle on the MLSsoccer.com mock draft.
Musovski has looked at a few of the mock drafts, but says that’s mostly for his parents and supporters. They are meeting him in Philadelphia for the draft.
“You try not to pay too much attention to them,” he said of the mock drafts. “I’m more focused on my performance (at the combine).”