Minnesota United FC decided one wasn’t enough in the MLS SuperDraft first round, trading away $50,000 in General Allocation Money to Chicago to get a left back in Maryland senior Chase Gasper at the 15th pick. Like his new/old teammate Dayne St. Clair, Gasper joins the Loons from the College Cup winners from 2018.
When healthy, Gasper was a mainstay for the Terrapins, manning the left side as both a defender and midfielder in his junior and senior years. Initially starting his college life with UCLA, he was a regular starter as a freshman, scoring the goal that put the Bruins into the College Cup finals. When healthy is the caveat. Gasper missed the beginning of the season this year with a back injury, and missed time in 2016 and 2017 with a torn groin muscle.
Gasper’s career was also marked by an upheaval in the midst of his college life. After going to UCLA, he moved back to Maryland as a redshirt junior to be closer to his family; as the Washington Post’s Steven Goff wrote in 2017, Gasper wanted to be available to care for his father, who was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease called small fiber neuropathy.
If he’s able to stay on the field, look for Gasper to push his way into the team’s plans at left back, a position where Minnesota don’t have a natural player; while it’s expected that Francisco Calvo will play on the flank, his preferred spot is at center back. Gasper would be best served heading to Forward Madison this year on a taxi squad USL loan agreement, but it’s possible that he sees playing time if Minnesota doesn’t make a depth signing.