TORONTO — He’s been one of the most promising forwards in American soccer history, but it has taken Colorado Rapids forward Conor Casey a decade to reach the pinnacle of his sport.
“It’s amazing to win,” Casey said. “I’ve been promoted from second to the first division and it feels like winning. But to actually have something, a medal that says you’re the best, it feels really good and it’s something I wasn’t sure that I’d ever get to do.”
The Colorado native was voted MLS Cup MVP for his battling performance on Sunday against FC Dallas. After three seasons of double-digit goals and an MLS Cup MVP, he is arguably one of the most consistent American forwards in circulation.
But after failing to get a shot to make the US World Cup team – he was not even called up to the 30-man preliminary squad – fans will not get to see the 29-year-old with the national team.
Even after winning his first ever title on Sunday, Casey reiterated that the national team is a thing of the past for him.
[inline_node:323912]“I haven’t thought about the national team at all since the World Cup was over,” he said. “And I’m not going to think about it again. I’m just thinking about this team [Rapids].”
Casey was subdued as he sat in front of his locker with his MLS Cup medal hanging around his neck.
At one point he turned to strike partner Omar Cummings and uttered the words “we’re the champions, we’re the champs,” almost trying to convince himself that it has finally happened for him after 10 long years.
“After the last couple of years of not making the playoffs, you feel far away [from an MLS Cup] and especially in this league when you have so many teams that are so even.
“We knew this was a big chance for us to be here and we didn’t want to let it go and we just battled. It wasn’t pretty. But we didn’t care and we just fought.”