Chase Gasper on the ball vs. Columbus Crew SC at MLS is Back
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Gasper explains why Minnesota United are forever underdogs

It’s been as much a part of the Minnesota United culture as Oasis’ anthem “Wonderwall” playing after wins. Adrian Heath tells anyone who will listen about how the Loons are underdogs, how they don't get their deserved respect.

That’s continued at the MLS is Back Tournament where Heath said Columbus Crew SC were already crowned “champions” before their Round of 16 clash.

According to defender Chase Gasper, there’s more to it than just a head coach’s bluster. Its a multi-point motivational tool with the coaching staff finding anything possible — articles, rankings, odds — to strengthen their claims.

“Since I’ve been here, the club and the team has really used the underdog theme as motivation,” Gasper said on Extratime. “We did that all last year and it’s the same theme this year. We were shown some, I don’t know what the websites are, but Vegas odds, anywhere we can find some motivation, inspiration. The coaches, the staff, will kind of dig up clips or whatever stats that show us as underdogs. We like that, we use that to our advantage.”

Gasper said his postmatch comments after advancing past Crew SC on penalty kicks of “don’t count out the Loons,” was just a continuation of a theme that was highlighted in pregame and halftime speeches.

Sights & Sounds from Loons and Quakes quarterfinal wins

Heath has assured that this theme carries on to Minnesota’s quarterfinal clash with the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday (8 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada). Gasper knows the unique challenge of facing in-form San Jose will be a difficult one.

“This team is really different the way they play. It’s unlike a lot of the things we’ve seen,” Gasper said of the Quakes. “ They’re in our conference so we know these guys pretty well. On a personal note, I know a lot of them, are friends with these guys so it’s going to be a great matchup. They’re riding high, one of the most entertaining teams to watch just in terms of their comebacks. Similar to us, those guys work so hard, they’re very fit. They deserve to be here, just like we do.”