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Upcoming U20 World Cup helped Trey Muse decide to go pro

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A more intense training environment may help the youngster push for national team glory.

Robert Bunn / TheSounderFan.com

TUKWILA, Wash. — The Sounders’ latest homegrown signing Trey Muse has big aspirations. After two successful seasons at Indiana, the goalkeeper is hopeful that spending time developing as a professional will help his game in the long-term and earn him a spot on the plane to Poland with the US U20s for the World Cup in May.

“Short-term goals like the Under 20 World Cup is something that I’m shooting for,” Muse said last week. “I think being in this environment every day is going to help me get ready for that World Cup in Poland.”

The USYNT qualified to the tournament after its performance in last year’s Concacaf U-20 Championship, which it won after beating Mexico 2-0 in the final. Muse did not make that roster, losing out to FC Koln’s Brady Scott and Real Salt Lake’s David Ochoa.

At 19, Muse has a lot of time to mature as a professional, but the looming U20 World Cup may be his last chance to represent the Stars and Stripes at the youth national level, assuming he does not feature in the U23’s attempt to qualify for the 2020 summer games.

Thankfully, Muse says, the level of training is pushing his game.

“Just being able to learn from Stef (Frei), Bryan (Meredith) and Tom Dutra is a dream come true,” Muse said. “It’s something that I think a lot of kids my age and young pros would die to have. It’s great to have this experience and be in this environment every day.

“I think the way that Tom Dutra has pushed me in two days (is incredible). I have to keep my speed up just to be able to emulate Stef’s speed of play and his training speed. That’s always difficult because he’s a veteran in this league and he’s really good at what he does. For me, it’s being able to compete with those guys every day. It will take a little bit of a learning curve for me to compete with those guys every day.”

Muse has grand plans for his playing career too, saying that he doesn’t want signing his first pro contract to be the peak of his career. The keeper sounded ready to put in the work to develop his game in 2019 and hopefully don the national team jersey along the way.

“I’d say right now my focus is on the U20 World Cup as well as getting better here every day,” Muse said. “I hope for S2 minutes as best I can, but that just comes with me working hard in training and they could give me that chance. I just want to be a team player and a leader as best I can and help Stef prepare for each of those games.”