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'I became a better person at IU': Trey Muse is on to his next chapter



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Sophomore Trey Muse warms up Sept. 7, 2018, before the start of the match against Virginia Commonwealth University at Bill Armstrong Stadium.  Matt Begala Buy Photos

Trey Muse squatted on the ground roughly half the distance between midfield and the goal at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, California. 

The goalkeeper held himself up with a single fist. He sat momentarily still for in pure shock at what just happened.

The Hoosiers had just fallen 2-0 in the 2018 College Cup semifinals despite being the lone top-16 seed remaining.

It was a game that the Terrapins defense dominated from the start. For eight seniors, their careers at IU were over. Muse also had to decide if it would be his final game in the cream and crimson.

After an All-American season where he helped guide the Hoosiers to their second straight College Cup, Muse had accomplished so much in a short amount of time. 

Over his 49 starts, Muse tied for fifth all time in program history with 30 shutouts and had a goals against average of 0.39.

On Jan. 15, it was announced that Muse had signed a homegrown player contract with the Seattle Sounders, thus foregoing his remaining collegiate eligibility.

“I’ve had aspirations to be a pro for a while, so the opportunity at Seattle came about, and I think it was a difficult decision because I love Indiana,” Muse said.

***

Muse thought he’d be a professional sooner rather than later. 

He had aspirations to sign with the Sounders or possibly play in Europe.

As part of the Seattle Sounders FC Development Academy, Muse quickly emerged as the starting goalkeeper for the U-18 group. 

He was named the 2015-16 Western Conference U-15/16 Goalkeeper of the Year, 2016-17 Western Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and the 2016-17 Western Conference Player of the Year.

He was 2,379 miles away from home as he moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Tukwila, Washington at 16. Muse lived with a host family and went to Roosevelt High School while playing with the academy.

During his time with the Sounders, he helped guide them to a third-place finish in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs — the club's best finish ever at the time.

Muse also played with the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team in the 2017 Slovakia Cup. He started one game in the competition — a 2-1 victory over Belarus.

As he wrapped up his second season with the Sounders, the organization wanted him to get collegiate reps and game experience instead of signing professionally. That’s where IU stepped in. 

To that point, most schools stopped recruiting Muse with the thought he’d skip college. 

His father, Dave Muse — a four-year goalkeeper at the University of Kentucky — said the Wildcats staff had kept an eye on Trey since he was 13. 

He also looked at Louisville and Maryland, but IU continued to press hard with its recruiting effort and a visit sealed the deal.

“IU is one of the only schools that I was getting recruited heavily so if it wouldn’t have been IU, I’m not sure where it would’ve been,” Trey Muse said.

***

In the 2017 Elite Eight against Big Ten rival Michigan State, all Muse had to do was save one more penalty kick to send IU to the College Cup.

The last time he had been in a shootout situation was when he was 15. As the starting goalkeeper for the River City Rovers U-16 team, Muse's team lost in penalty kicks for the state championship.

But the bright lights didn't bother Muse against the Spartans. 

With over 49 starts at IU, his resume speaks for itself. Muse is tied for fifth in program history in shutouts and boasted a goals a goals allowed average of 0.39.

Awaiting the attempt, he stood in the middle of the goal with both arms outstretched. As the Michigan State player bowed into the kick, Muse dropped his hands.

The Michigan State shooter fired the ball toward the right corner of the net. Muse chose his spot perfectly. Diving the same direction as the shot, with his hands reaching toward the ground, Muse blocked the ball.

Upon making the save, Muse leapt into the air. A celebratory eating motion followed. It looked as if he was devouring a bowl of cereal.

“That was the night when he etched himself in Hoosier history,” Zac Brown, IU assistant and goalkeeper coach, said. “I think it was just a memorable night for everyone, but he definitely made himself different.”

***

With the offer from the Sounders on the table after the 2018 College Cup loss, Dave Muse had a discussion with IU Coach Todd Yeagley involving the future of his son’s soccer career.

“I told him to forget that he was his coach, just think about if you’re his dad, what would you do,” Dave Muse said.

In the conversation between the two, Dave recalled Yeagley explaining how it’s a tough decision because both options presented positive outcomes.

Regardless of where Trey Muse chose to play soccer next, he was going to be in a situation that he was comfortable and familiar with.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but after two historic seasons as a Hoosier, Muse felt entering the professional ranks was the right move to make. 

After a glowing career in Bloomington, Trey Muse is now officially a member of the Seattle Sounders.

“I just think it was a really special year and a half of my life with how the coaches pushed me to become a better player was something that I was appreciative of,” Trey Muse said. “I think the side of that, I became a better person at IU.”

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