By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He’s scored four goals and had three assists in just the last five games. If your reaction to that is: “When did Minnesota United sign Lionel Messi?” then frankly, you can’t be blamed.

But here’s the really crazy part: he’s a guy who spent most of the season in the minor leagues and then on the bench.

We’ve been seeing a lot of this from Mason Toye lately. It might be the biggest case of a player coming out of nowhere in recent memory.

“I knew I was going to get an opportunity at some point this year,” Toye says. “I was just making sure that I was ready when it came.”

It came June 29 when he subbed for a teammate, and scored and had an assist in just 28 minutes. He has scored or had an assist in every game since.

What’s wild is that before that, he hadn’t had a goal or assist all season– probably because he only played in one game all season.

“You never know, but I always believed in myself. I always knew that at some point it was going to fall for me, and I had the ability to be a good player in this league,” Toye says.

The Loons thought so, too, taking him seventh overall in last year’s SuperDraft. But he had a rough rookie season.

“Going into the off-season, I was really frustrated about how I played last year,” Toye says.

Which is to say he didn’t play a lot.

“So coming into the off-season, I just said, ‘I’m gonna put my head down, work my butt off,'” he says.

“The kid’s doing really well of late. Playing with a lot of confidence,” coach Adrian Heath says. “That’s the last thing you don’t do these days is let them get a big head, because trust me, they wouldn’t be able to get in the door these days.”

“This game’s very humbling,” Adrian says. “And as well as it can be going like that, it can go like this very, very quickly. You have to remember what got you the success.”

“I gotta just keep it going,” Toye says. “We’ve still got about 12 to 13 games left in the season, and we’re all going to have to continue to get better every day.”

 

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