The Portland Timbers today announced they have signed defender Justin Rasmussen to a one-year contract, with three club option years. The 23-year old was Portland’s first selection in the 2022 SuperDraft (no. 27 overall) and has been training with the team during their preseason preparations. He got his first start and first goal of the preseason in Wednesday night’s friendly against Viking FK. And now, he has his first MLS contract.
Rasmussen was drafted out of Grand Canyon University, where he spent the majority of his playing time as an attacking left winger. While in school, Rasmussen tallied 16 goals and 10 assists across his 55 appearances in his five-year college tenure. At the professional level, Rasmussen projects as an offensively-minded left back and appeared to be a good fit for Timbers’ head coach Giovanni Savarese’s system. His work on the field now appears to match the scouting report, as the Timbers have rewarded him with a first-team contract.
Fans may already know Rasmussen’s name, due to the fact that he scored an absolute belter of a goal against Viking FK in the second game of Portland’s preseason tournament, a game in which he also started.
As of now, Rasmussen is the second natural left back on the roster behind presumptive starter Claudio Bravo. It remains to be seen how many additional signings the Timbers will make before the curtain raises on the 2022 season, so for now, Rasmussen is in as the primary backup on the depth chart. He will have his first opportunity to make an MLS roster sheet when the Timbers begin their 2022 MLS season at Providence Park against the New England Revolution on February 26, at 5 p.m.
You can read the full press release on Rasmussen’s signing here.