San Diego Loyal SC has only been around for one season. One very, very odd season that nearly ended in a playoff appearance.
In 2021 they’re setting themselves up to win the USL Championship.
“From what I’ve been seeing it looks like they’re definitely trying to make some pushes to make this year even better and I’m just excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that,” says Trey Muse.
Muse is the newest goalie for the Loyal. He was acquired on loan from Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. For most of 2020, Trey backed up Stefan Frei, one of the best keepers in the league. Seattle sees Muse, who’s just 21, as their future so they wanted him to get more playing time.
He’s finding it in San Diego.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to leave a mark and make a good show for ourselves and just to be able to compete,” says Muse.
Competing is something Trey talks about a lot. On the wall of his room is the iconic image of a victorious Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston. Ali is from Louisville. So is Muse, and Trey is a huge fan of The Greatest.
“You see his competitive nature and that’s something that I just really appreciate and something that I value, too, hence the picture on the wall. I think it’s a great picture that has a lot of volume to it.”
The competitive aspect comes out in the position Trey plays. Goalie is the most physical position on the pitch. You’re going to leap into piles where you know you’re going to fall awkwardly or take a foot to a bad area, and you’re not wearing pads.
Trey thrives on that bit of danger.
“I don’t think anyone is going to want to put their face in front of a ball or at feet and be comfortable with it so I do think there are some things that you don’t just teach someone. I think you have to be wired differently; a little bit crazy to want to do those things.”
Case in point: in 2019 Trey was a 20-year-old rookie goalie for Tacoma. He tied a USL Championship record with 13 saves to preserve a 1-1 draw against New Mexico with a playoff spot on the line. In the last 10 minutes the ball was entirely on Tacoma’s side of the field, an onslaught that would make most goalies crumble.
"I thought it was really fun,” says Trey. “Even though it was the most tested I’ve ever been, the most challenged. I was mentally drained after that.”
Muse has also competed for the US Men's National U-18 and U-20 teams so he has international experience.
As we’ve talked about several times, if you’re going to join the Loyal, you’re going to have to stand up for what you believe it right. The club sacrificed a playoff spot a year ago to support its players against verbal attacks. Muse is all-in on that message.
“It really shows a solid human foundation more than, we’re just soccer players and athletes, we can actually make a difference so, I’m super excited to be a part of that and to be able to bring whatever I can to the table to make a difference, the educate and to learn myself about certain things that are going on in this climate and in the world today.”
Talented, young, and aware of the bigger picture. Trey Muse is a perfect fit for San Diego Loyal SC.
Also, on Thursday the Loyal signed forward Niki Jackson. He was most recently with the Colorado Rapids of MLS. We’ll get to know him better on Friday.