MORGANTOWN — In May of 2022 local program Mountaineer United Soccer Club (MUSC) announced a full partnership with European soccer club BVB housed in Dortmund, Germany.
The already-established club in Morgantown took the opportunity to take its success to the next level by collaborating with the German coaches and back office to better understand how to grow the game and do it at a high level.
North-central WV has certainly shown success in the sport of soccer at multiple levels but BVB has allowed the players and staff to build a soccer power on both a state and national level.
Director Darren Huckaby has been involved with MUSC since its inception and says the growth he has witnessed throughout the years is nothing short of incredible.
“The club, the sport, the quality of the players. It’s all improved consistently,” Huckaby said during a tryout on Thursday. “We’ve sent seven players so far from the area to developmental academies and compete at high levels and hope to continue that.”
Mason Shockley, who was a player for MUSC, was the first player from West Virginia to ever enter an academy and trained with both the Columbus Crew and D.C. United of Major League Soccer.
Huckaby’s son, Dante, trained with the MLS’s Philadelphia Union’s academy in recent years also. Fellow coach Kernell Borneo has had all three of his children involved in the club and all three have shown high levels of play and success.
His oldest son Elijah played for WVU, his youngest son, Kaleb, trained with the Columbus Crew Academy, and his daughter, Ariana is a rising junior at Morgantown High School and recently helped win a state championship while also being named a first-team all-state defender.
“The benefit for the club is it provides a pathway for each individual player to reach their full potential within the club. Both boys and girls will have the opportunity to participate on several levels,” coach and co-director Ray Kryzak said. “All players will play with their local teams (during the school year), then at the select level they can play locally, regionally, or even nationally through BVBIA.”
Most recently, the club participated in the USYS West Virginia State Cup tournament. Five teams made the finals with the 2005 Girls team capturing the title and earning a spot in the regional tournament in two weeks in Louden, Virginia.
Now with the BVB brand, Huckaby says not only the recognition of the club, but the club itself continues to help their American partners make the growth possible.
“The brand itself is an internationally recognized club so that’s big for us,” he said. “But also the people at BVB have been very helpful. They’ve given us a lot of resources that have helped, they came and had a visit with us and gave us some new ideas and helped support our coaches. There’s a lot here with what we’ve got and what we hope to give back to the community.”
Tryouts for BVBIA-WV are currently being held at Mylan Park and according to the coaches, have yielded some of the largest numbers they’ve seen.