By Caitlin Ladd, LouisvilleCityFC.com
Louisville City FC’s match Saturday brought about a surprise other than the stoppage-time goal by Wilmington Hammerheads FC that knotted the score at 2-2 — a good kind of surprise.
Midfielder Rasmussen came on in the 59th minute as a substitute for Mark-Anthony Kaye, and the sent supporters at Louisville Slugger Field into a frenzy. A player that scored LouCity’s first-ever goal in 2015’s inaugural match has spent months rehabbing after undergoing surgery.
He appreciated the reception received from fans.
“It was nice to stand in on the field and feel the crowd,” Rasmussen said.
Thanks a lot to the best fans in the league for the warm welcome. It gave me goosebumps to step back in on the field. I'll be better! ⚽️
Rasmussen, LouCity’s third-leading scorer last season with eight goals, netted one on March 28, 2015, that helped boost the team to a 2-0 win over Saint Louis FC. The attacking midfielder didn’t receive much in the way of instructions from Coach James O’Connor before returning to the pitch Saturday but did get a quick recognition for his work to get back.
“[He] just told me ‘Good luck. You deserve it. You’ve been fighting hard for seven months without football,’” Rasmussen said of O’Connor.
Rasmussen hasn’t gone so long without playing soccer since he was 16 years old, calling it “a hard mental process” to remain on the sideline.
“I watched these guys train every day, play games every week, and I just want to be a part of it,” he said.
O’Connor noticed Rasmussen, a 23-year-old from Denmark, show “glimpses of what he’s capable of” in 30-plus minutes against the Hammerheads. Saturday’s match was the first in which Rasmussen appeared on the lineup form.
On a 90-degree night, “I thought the heat really hit him,” O’Connor added. “…It’s obviously difficult for Magnus because he’s been out for so long. When you look at what he’s been through, there’s a lot he needs to catch up on.”