Jasper Löffelsend exceeded expectations — in a big way
The draftee exceeded all expectations in his debut season
Easily one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 season, Jasper Löffelsend emerged from late round draft-pick, to featuring in 32 competitive matches with RSL. Few, if any, expected him to feature so prevalently with the first team, but not only did Jasper play, he played really darn well.
Having been deployed at right back for the University of Pittsburg, Löffelsend was drafted by RSL near the very end of the MLS Super Draft -- the 81st overall pick. He was quickly tested in that position during pre-season, but failed to impress. It appeared at that point that Jasper would be spending the year with Real Monarchs, and signed a contract with the MLS Next Pro team to further support this. However, by a stroke of fortune Everton Luiz was unable to attend the first several matches of the season due to visa issues, and Pablo gave the German a chance in central midfield. From there, he not only exceeded expectations, but blew them away. (Decimated them even, given being a third round draft pick)
During the season he paired primarily with Pablo Ruiz, and created a mid-field partnership that was fluid and acceptably functional. In the classic combo of a destroyer/creator pairing, he served as the workhorse and engine that allowed both him, and Ruiz, to excel in their roles at times. What he offered in spades over Caldwell, was his ability to constantly appear in both and defense and attack to influence the game. This box-to-box style made him an integral part of every match, and quickly endeared him to the fan base over the season.
What's next for Jasper Löffelsend?
Despite the flying first year arrival, it's a bit tricky to know exactly how Jasper will be used in the 2023 season. For starters, the arrival of Braian Ojeda has put another very talented central midfielder on the roster -- which down the stretch, appeared to be gaining minutes at Löffelsend's expense. The other interesting note is that as the season wound down, Jasper found himself in more of a central attacking midfield role. A place that would in theory also be covered by Kreilach upon his return, and Luna in reserve. While perhaps a borderline starter, the beauty of what the right-back turned center-midfielder turned attacking-midfielder is exactly that, his Swiss-army knife versatility. No matter how things shake out positionally, we can expect the hard working sophomore to find plenty of minutes in the upcoming campaign.
- Goals: 1
- Assists: 5
- Matches Played: 30
- Minutes: 1631