The New York City FC midfielder splits his time between training and college courses. Unlike other young players in the league, Jasson attends class in person — at Yale University.
It’s an exercise in time management Jasson first mastered in high school when he’d miss weeks and months at a time to compete in various soccer competitions, from the U-17 World Cup to youth national team camps to tournaments with the NYCFC academy.
“It’s a pretty normal workload, I would say, one of the classes is online, which is also super easy and beneficial,” Jasson told OSDB Sports. “And then just kind staying on top of it, doing readings, obviously, sometimes you can't get to everything and that's all right, you got to kind of figure out what you think is more important, what you think will be talked about in class. It hasn't been too bad of a workload to be honest, just kind of being smart about what I think is most important to do and kind of doing that stuff first.”
Yale was always a dream school for Jasson, a Greenwich, Ct., native. He and his family would make the trip to New Haven for hockey games and soccer matches. There was even familiarity with Bulldogs head coach Kylie Stannard, who was a US youth scout.
So when Jasson was recruited by Stannard out of high school, he said attending Yale was a no-brainer.
Excited for the athletic and academic challenges ahead of him, Jasson was dealt a difficult blow when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled Yale’s season last fall. And then the spring season was shelved and Jasson’s soccer development, especially at Yale, faced a murky future.
Jasson sat down with his parents to discuss the possibility of maximizing his growth, both athletically and academically. He chose to sign with NYCFC as a homegrown player on Nov. 19, 2020, forgoing his collegiate eligibility. A month later, Jasson made his professional debut, coming off the bench for NYCFC in a Concacaf Champions League match against Tigres UANL.
With classes during his freshman year online only due to the pandemic, Jasson attacked his education with five credits in the fall semester, five more during the spring and a few more in the summer. It takes 36 credits to graduate from Yale and Jasson put himself in a good position heading into his sophomore year.
“A lot of people were not huge fans of online. For me it was great, to be honest,” said Jasson, who will likely major in economics. “Because no matter if we had an away game, practice, I could do the class at the facility, at the hotel, so that was really super easy to do in the spring.”
With Yale returning, mostly, to in-person classes this year, Jasson knew he had to be creative to balance the rigors of both an Ivy League education and his education as a budding professional soccer player.
He made sure he chose classes that fit into his tight window as early as possible, before they were closed out. The same was true of the discussion sections for the lectures he selected. This semester his courses include: Intermediate Macroeconomics, Biology, the World, and Us, German New Waves in Cold War Europe and Anthropology in Japan.
“A bit diverse, but definitely different classes that are really interesting,” Jasson said.
Of his four classes this fall, one is online. As for the other three, he was able to stack those classes on Thursdays. So, following training and lunch at NYCFC’s training facility in Orangeburg in New York’s Rockland County, Jasson makes the 77-mike trek to New Haven. His first class is at 2:30 pm, second is at 3:30 pm and the last one is at 6 pm.
If he has some extra time, Jasson connects with some friends, then makes the return trip home, gets to sleep and wakes up for training the next day.
“I think for classes it's been really, really good,” Jasson said. “I think the one place that's been a little bit more difficult has been exams and exam times because its difficult for them to move exams and stuff like that. I’ve been pretty fortunate, I’ve taken a lot of classes that the midterms and finals are just papers so I don't have to actually go to an exam. So that's been good too.”
Jasson said a key to staying on top of his academic workload is leaning on classmates for recorded lectures and notes.
“At Yale there’s these kids who are so smart and taking the most advanced math classes, the most advanced biology, chemistry class, but still take 20-30 minutes out of their day to just sit down with you and help you with something that to them probably seems super easy, super basic, but you're struggling a bit to understand,” Jasson said. “So it is really crazy the community Yale has, they’re so willing to help and really be someone that you can lean on. That’s something that I've definitely picked up and noticed has been really amazing.”
It’s not dissimilar to his education on the soccer pitch where he is trying to break into a well-established squad. With NYCFC, Jasson said, he often picks the brain of fellow homegrown midfielder James Sands, who is enjoying a breakthrough season which included his first caps with the US men’s national team. Like Jasson, Sands is homegrown signing — NYCFC’s first — and he’s got a few years of first-team experience under his belt.
While he’s managing his collegiate education, Jasson is soaking up every moment of his professional education under the direction of head coach Ronny Deila.
“I truly love it, I love learning about playing different positions the level, how it's different than academy, playing youth, I love watch film,” Jasson said. “I think with school. It's something that I'm learning, but it's not something that I'm as passionate about to learn about. I don't love going to class and learning.”