COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids forward Shkelzen Gashi can do a great impression of Minnesota United right-back Jerome Thiesson’s horror-movie shriek.
That’s because when the two were teammates and roommates at Swiss club AC Bellinzona in 2009, Gashi elicited that scream, nearly giving his best friend since their teenage years a panic attack.
“He thinks I’m not there, then he opens the door, he makes to turn the lights on, he touches me on my body, I turn the lights on, and I was in the [“Scream”] mask,” Gashi rehashed. “I was down. It was so funny.”
The Switzerland natives were reunited in America when Minnesota United took on Colorado on Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Gashi joined Colorado last season, and the forward was the team’s top scorer in 2016 with nine goals.
Thiesson arrived in Minnesota just in time to play the home opener last weekend.
But the distance didn’t damped the friendship.
Gashi said he would text Thiesson frequently, asking for updates on how the Swiss teams were doing, and also call him two or three times a week to tell him about how great the U.S. and Major League Soccer is.
“I always told him that I would come visit him,” Thiesson said. “I think he didn’t expect me to do that on the field. Even better like that.”
The pair FaceTimed Thursday night ahead of the match, but Gashi wasn’t able to pry any “top-secret” information from Thiesson on how United plays.
And while Gashi called Thiesson one of his favorite Swiss players and a friend for life, those good feelings wouldn’t stop him from scoring on United.
“No, no, not too friendly,” Gashi said. “We need the three points.”
Gashi and Thiesson aren’t the only pals who were reunited in Colorado. United midfielder Kevin Molino and Colorado defender Mekeil Williams played youth soccer together in Trinidad and Tobago.
Williams said the two FaceTime a lot and are always talking about playing against each other, even when there isn’t a matchup on the horizon.
That back-and-forth even extends to the FIFA video game, where it’s pretty definitive who the better player is.
“He beats me most of the time,” Molino said.
Williams added: “I actually played him as the Colorado Rapids. He had FC Barcelona. He was supposed to win the game easily. He couldn’t make a goal.”