Charlie Asensio, on loan to the Charleston Battery from Austin FC in MLS answered our questions ahead of an important meeting with Louisville City this weekend. Asensio was drafted by Austin FC with the 35th overall pick of this year’s MLS SuperDraft, but is no stranger to the Palmetto State, having played four years with the Clemson Tigers, winning the NCAA Championship in 2021. Read on for what he had to say.
BYP: You’ve settled in quickly with a few assists. While the team is in a difficult position, do you feel like you’re in a good position to accomplish the goals you have?
CA: Yeah, I feel like it’s started pretty well. You know, connecting with some of the guys on the team and getting some assists as well. But that’s a credit to [the team] and the coaching staff, because they welcomed me and they’ve shown trust in me from day one so… Letting them build that trust and that confidence in myself has been good for me and my performances while I’ve been here.
Is that fledgling partnership with Augi something that’s grown off the pitch as well?
Definitely. Not even just Augi, you know… Everybody on the team, that’s something I’ve noticed. The chemistry from day one has been great from the guys. In the locker room and off the field, Augi’s definitely one of the ones that I’ve become close with, along with a number of the other guys. That’s one of the things that’s going to help us get results is that chemistry and how well we get along with each other.
Photo credit Dan Steffy, Michael Wiser & Ben Clemens
What’s the biggest difference between Austin and Charleston? They’re very popular cities for different reasons….
I think the weather here in Charleston it’s… (smiles) so humid. It’s hard to breathe sometimes. I’m still getting adjusted to that! But Austin is hot too, so I guess I’ve landed in two spots that weather’s just crazy in the summer. But I think Austin’s a city with the big buildings and Charleston’s more relaxing and laid back, and with the beach ten minutes away is obviously really nice. It’s a little different, but I like both of them a lot.
Did you hit the town with Matthew McConaughey?
I’ve met him a few times [Laughs] that’s still pretty insane for me.
Did you begin your career as a full back? It’s not the sort of position everyone wants to play…
I actually started my career playing as a center mid… And then when I was about 15 or 16, I was playing a year up and they had a really good defensive mid, so I made my way to left back and it’s just kinda stuck there. Obviously I’m playing higher up than I’m used to, but it’s been fun.
What have you learned in your time as a Pro having just been drafted and then moving here on loan?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is the habits that these guys have off the field. How they eat, what they’re doing in their free time and stuff like that. It’s just a different level from the college game and from club soccer. You could kind of get away with certain things, but at this point you have to take every little thing you can get to help your performance on the field, and trying to get better. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from playing and watching Pros for quite some time now.
You won a championship in your four years at Clemson. How did your time with them influence the player you are now?
I always say that it’s the best decision I made in my life, choosing Clemson. In the four years that I was there, there’s no question that the staff that was there, the people that I was around, helped me make this step up. It’s a huge credit to them that I was able to come into this environment and make it a smoother transition than maybe it was for some other people.
As always, thanks to Charlie for speaking to us and best of luck to him and the Battery as they travel to face Louisville City FC this Saturday, August 6th, with kick off at 8PM. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.
TOP IMAGE: CHARLIE ASENSIO ON THE BALL IN THE BATTERY’S LAST GAME AGAINST SACREMENTO. PHOTO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY