The Portland Timbers selected Justin Rasmussen out of Grand Canyon University with the club’s first-round pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, the 27th pick overall.
Rasmussen was a standout at GCU during the 2021 season, his fifth year with the program. Playing primarily as a midfielder, he tallied nine goals and six assists in 20 games played. Rasmussen is a tall player with a wicked left foot who handled the physicality of the college game well.
Rasmussen projects more as an attacking-minded fullback at the professional level than a midfielder which is not an uncommon move for players making the jump from college to the pro. If he does wind up settling in as a defender, his instincts to go forward in the attack make him a good fit for Giovanni Savarese’s system, which emphasizes fullbacks’ freedom to get forward and combine in the attack.
Rasmussen will likely be included in the training camp roster and will spend the 2022 preseason with the first team. There, he will get a shot to earn a contract offer, whether it is with the first team or with the re-launch of Portland’s reserve side in the MLS Next Pro reserve league.
Thoughts on the pick? Want to see Rasmussen make the squad? Let’s hear it in the comments.