Leading up to last week's closure of the secondary MLS transfer window, Real Salt Lake made an addition to their roster in 26-year old forward Danny Musovski in a trade with LAFC (in which RSL sent $250k in General Allocation Money (GAM) to LAFC). Which brings up the question: what is Real Salt Lake getting in Danny Musovski?
Musovski has mainly served in a reserve role with LAFC this season (which he has mainly done as well throughout his 2.5 year LAFC career). On the season he has scored two goals, while contributing one assist, across 507 minutes. He has appeared in 16 matches on the year, while making six starts. He is completing 64.2% of his passes on the year.
Across his LAFC career, Musovski has scored 11 goals with six assists across 1,842 minutes. He has played in 53 matches, with 17 starts, in his career. He is completing 71% of his passes for his career. Which means he is averaging 34.8 minutes per appearance in his career. He is also scoring 0.54 goals per 90 minutes in his MLS career (he is at 0.83 goal contributions (goals + assists) per 90 minutes).
Those are fairly strong per-90 numbers. While per-90 stats don't guarantee an in-kind increase as playing time increases, it would be interesting to see if Musovski could take advantage of increased PT if he gets it with RSL.
What will Danny Musovski bring to Real Salt Lake
Musovski went to LAFC in 2020 after a two-year stint in the USL. He is a former second round pick in the 2018 MLS Superdraft by San Jose, but he never appeared for the Earthquakes. He has found his footing over the last few seasons with LAFC.
Figuring out exactly what role Musovski will play for RSL is the key part. What makes it difficult to predict is that RSL has been very fluid with their formations and lineups recently. However, in general I don't think Musovski is going to be able to take a starting spot away from the likes of Sergio Cordova and Jefferson Savarino up top. Nevertheless, he will still be an important piece whether he starts or not.
In general, I think the role that Musovski will play for RSL is that he will provide quality depth up top and will be a good sub who can give RSL some oomph off the bench. LAFC has a ton of depth up top and felt that they could move Musovski and still keep the depth that they had (while they pick up some assets). RSL is the team who benefits from that and picks up a quality piece who will help in the depth of the attack.
$250k in GAM isn't an onerous amount, and it is probably about right for a solid attacking sub. It also provides solid value in the deal.
Musovski has a value of $550k on Transfermarkt. While comparing GAM to value on Transfermarkt isn't a perfect and precise practice, it does at least give a bit of a view into the value of the player and the deal. What these numbers do show me is that I think RSL got good value based on what they gave up to get Musovski.
Another way of looking at this move is that Musovski has had an interesting career arc. This hasn't been the best season for him, but his arc seemed to be trending in the right direction from 2019-2021. If RSL can help him recover that trajectory then he could be a good value find for the club as he continues a potential upswing in the prime of his career.
Musovski also has some flexibility. He can play on the outside at winger if needed, on top of playing up top at striker. This adds to the potential role that he could for RSL, he can add depth at multiple positions which is always a bonus.
Musovski also seems to be a player that RSL fans will enjoy. He was a bit of a fan favorite in Los Angeles, and seemed to be a guy that fans wanted to see more of. It wouldn't surprise me if Musovski quickly becomes a fan-favorite in Salt Lake.
While this might not be an addition that pushes RSL way over the top, it is an important one in my opinion. Musovski should provide quality depth, likely as a sub, and should help RSL as they prepare to make a push towards the playoffs in the final ten matches of the season.