For the first time ever, Los Angeles Football Club will have neither Diego Rossi nor Carlos Vela (pending a miracle recovery) for a competitive game.
The timing isn’t ideal, coming against Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders Sunday at Banc of California Stadium, but LAFC have to tackle the challenge head-on, with Rossi on international duty and Vela rehabbing from a knee injury.
The additional absence of Brian Rodriguez means two starting forward spots are up for grabs against the Sounders, and while Bradley Wright-Phillips is a near-certain lock to keep his place, Danny Musovski appears set to get his second MLS start in one of the other slots.
The 24-year-old has become the most reliable bench scoring option for LAFC this year, notching two goals, both in wins, after entering the game as a substitute.
“Danny has made progress this year and we are excited in this next period of time he will get more opportunities,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley told reporters in pregame availability Friday, acknowledging the newcomer will get more run the next several games.
“Everyone is going to have to step up, it’s not just me or whoever else gets in,” Musovski said Friday. “We have those guys on international duty and we want to do them proud while they’re gone and help the team win.”
Musovski was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes out of UNLV in 2018 but never saw playing time for Quakes, instead going out on loan to Reno 1868 that year and then making a permanent move to the USL Championship team last season. His consistent play at that level led to LAFC signing the Nevada native in the offseason, and now he’s making use of playing time he may or may not have expected when he signed.
While his emergence has been a surprise of sorts this year, Musovski says the gradual shift to more playing time at the MLS level hasn’t altered his preparation day-to-day.
“For me, nothing’s changed, to be honest,” he said. “Just showing up every day, trying to get better and if you can do that consistently the coaches will notice that and they’ll give you your opportunity to play. But nothing’s changed in my routine. I just try to get better each and every day in training and then when I get the opportunity I try to take it.”
Wright-Phillips will be the focal point of LAFC’s attack for the next few games, and Musovski both paid tribute to and gently ribbed his more experienced teammate.
“Especially for me as a young guy, I get to see Brad on a daily basis in training, not just in the games, with how well he does. He’s an incredible player, a legend. I remember when I was little, I was watching him play, so learning from him even then and now up close and personal I get to see it first hand,” Musovski said with a wry smile.
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