Chase Gasper has started six consecutive games, a remarkable feat of consistency from a rookie. Gasper, who was drafted 15th overall by the Loons, has played exceptionally well for a rookie straight out of college. “In college, you have a lot more time on the ball; everything just happens a little slower. But at this level, everyone is athletic, fast, big, strong, and everyone is a lot more technical than college.”
“When I first got here it was definitely a bit of a wake-up call,” but Gasper credited the staff and hard work for his transition. “The coaches were welcoming from day one, you know. They’re on you as a young guy, and expect the most out of you every single day.”
Minnesota United has a busy schedule in the next few weeks, facing the Timbers twice: once in the US Open Cup, and again in the MLS Western Conference. “I mean, they’re both [MLS and US Open Cup] massive . . . It’s the wild, wild west, so you got to get as many points as you can every single game . . . The Open Cup is a semi-final, potential to win some hardware this year and get a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.”
Gasper mentioned CONCACAF Champions League qualification, which would imply a home game in February. “Oh man, that would be nuts. Heck, that’d work in our favor . . . Get some guys who are used to warmer weather up here. I definitely hope so.” Indeed, the possibility of welcoming a foreign CONCACAF team into Allianz Field in February is mouthwatering.
Looking forward to Portland, Gasper emphasized sticking with the game-plan, “Our attackers have been fantastic this season . . . And so Vancouver, I mean, was just one of those games where the ball doesn't bounce in your favor.” After Adrian Heath criticized practice last week, Gasper cited this week's practice as “much much better.”