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Musto prepares for first pro season in Greece | News, Sports, Jobs

Musto prepares for first pro season in Greece | News, Sports, Jobs 2020-10-09Leave a comment

Musto prepares for first professional season in Greece | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Nikki Musto, a 2015 King Kekaulike Excessive College graduate who performs for AE Larissa in Greece, handles the ball throughout a pickup sport. Images courtesy of Nikki Musto

Nikki Musto “by no means imagined” she would someday be competing overseas.

However after navigating the chances and necessities, the 2015 King Kekaulike Excessive College graduate arrived in Greece on Sept. 12 with a one-year contract with AE Larissa, an expert ladies’s soccer workforce within the Greek A Division.

“Being in a rustic the place soccer is the preferred sport is an excellent expertise,” Musto mentioned in an e mail to The Maui Information on Thursday. “I knew that I wished to in the end play professionally however didn’t know the trail to get there.”

Musto mentioned that “everybody has been tremendous welcoming and the tradition right here is much like Maui; all people is aware of all people and the complete metropolis helps the ladies’s workforce.”

As a result of COVID-19, the season was postponed to Nov. 1 and is predicted to run via Could, she mentioned. Within the meantime, Larissa has been taking part in pleasant pickup video games each weekend to organize for the 20 league video games which might be scheduled.

Nikki Musto holds the headband of her new workforce, AE Larissa, after arriving in Greece final month.

Apart from the standard well being and security rules imposed by the nation, Musto mentioned “life right here is transferring ahead and at 23 I’m very grateful to have this chance to maintain doing what I really like.”

Now as an expert athlete, her days include a number of coaching classes.

“Within the morning I do crossfit and within the afternoon I both go for a run or again to the fitness center to journey the bike,” she mentioned. “Within the night I am going to coaching on the area for workforce coaching.”

“We hope to win the league and go on to play within the Champions League towards different European champions,” she added.

King Kekaulike ladies soccer assistant coach Ken Hayo mentioned that it’s very thrilling to have gamers from the Valley Isle competing at excessive ranges internationally; Musto joins 2014 Baldwin graduate Brianne Cremer, who’s competing in Hungary, as Maui ladies taking part in skilled soccer in Europe.

“What an expertise for her,” Hayo mentioned of Musto. “I all the time bear in mind her as extraordinarily gifted and he or she completely beloved the sport of soccer.”

Musto was a multiple-year captain for Na Alii and performed primarily central midfield, which is the place she is positioned now for Larissa.

“She was a very good pupil and athlete and got here from a soccer household as her father coaches and each brothers play as nicely,” Hayo mentioned.

After graduating from King Kekaulike, Musto signed a full soccer scholarship with Idaho State College, the place she performed for 2 years as a starter earlier than ending her collegiate profession at San Diego State.

She got down to discover an avenue to proceed her taking part in profession.

“Sadly, taking part in overseas shouldn’t be as simple as everybody thinks it’s,” Musto mentioned. “I used to be introduced with a chance throughout my senior yr at San Diego State to pursue my grasp’s diploma in England whereas persevering with my soccer profession. I attended the College of Nottingham and performed soccer there.”

The plan was to remain in England after attempting out for the soccer workforce, however then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.

Generally issues occur for a purpose, although. When Musto returned house, one other alternative arose to signal her first skilled contract in Greece.

“As a result of the truth that I’m not a European citizen, taking part in overseas is way more sophisticated however we made it occur,” she mentioned. “I hope that I can proceed to play at a excessive degree internationally and after constructing a resume, I hope to return to play within the U.S.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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