This week, Chase Gasper’s case went fast.
He was in Minnesota earlier in the week, in Los Angeles late Wednesday night and in his first workout with the Galaxy on Thursday morning.
“My agent told me on Tuesday that they were interested, and on Wednesday morning when I was going to practice in Minnesota, he said,‘ They’re negotiating, so it looks like you’re heading to Los Angeles, ’” Gasper said. .
On Wednesday night, FC Galaxy and Minnesota United completed a deal under which Gasper went to Los Angeles in exchange for $ 450,000 in guaranteed money.
“I spent three wonderful years at UCLA, made a lot of friends and spent a lot of time here,” he said. “I know this area well and I know the rich football history of this area and I know that the Galaxy is in this city and how important it is for the city. I am very happy to be here, very grateful and look forward to integrating into the team. “
Gasper, 26, is also looking for a fresh start here.
He was selected in the first round (overall number 15) by Minnesota United in the 2019 MLS superdraft. In his first three seasons, he played 63 games, playing in 60 games. In September, he signed a four-year contract with Minnesota United.
However, in March, he voluntarily joined the MLS program on drug abuse and behavioral health. He spent a month at Cliffside Malibu on treatment.
“It’s been a long time,” he said. “I have reached my turning point. I appealed to loved ones and after suffering in silence and told no one because I felt it was right, no matter how hard. After I finally decided to contact and tell others what was happening, we decided together that it was better to do it then (register). I am very grateful to everyone who helped me make that decision and helped me through that difficult time because it probably saved my life. ”
He returned to the field on April 20 in the U.S. Open Cup game and four days later in the MLS Next Pro game.
“I’m very grateful for the time I spent there,” Gasper said of his time at Cliffside. “I have learned a lot and now I am proud to come out and say that people, regardless of age, race, anxiety, depression, addiction can affect anyone.
“I’m here to talk to this and hopefully inspire people to turn and get help if you’re suffering. Turn to a loved one, to a specialist and seek help, because at the end of the tunnel there is a light, and I can say this from experience. So I just want to use my story to inspire and help others. ”
Galaxy coach Greg Venny said Gasper will be available when the Galaxy visits FC Austin on Sunday.
“We feel very confident in the young man,” Vanya said. “Everyone was talking about him with passion. So I think sometimes in life you have problems, and the way you deal with them and the way you deal with them are also a true indicator of your character. And everyone we spoke to was impressed with Chase’s approach, and in a sense noted his courage to take a step forward and acknowledge that there was something he emotionally wanted to deal with.
“I always thought he was a really strong left-back in our league, a guy who can play all the time and we want to create an environment where he feels great and comfortable.”
Gasper played three seasons at UCLA before moving to Maryland in 2017. He earned his first match in the national team on February 1, 2020 in a friendly match against Costa Rica.
Gasper maintains a contract with Galaxy until the end of the 2025 MLS season.
“I think I bring the team a great defensive mood and endurance,” he said. “I think I’m quite a physical player, holding up well in defense. I am primarily a defender, but I have the ability to go ahead and help in attack.
“I am very excited about what the future holds.”
The Galaxy at FC Austin
When: 4pm on Sunday
Where: Q2 Stadium; Austin, Texas