Hometown: Zürich, Switzerland
Birth date: July 15, 1988
Acquired: Rapids signed Shkëlzen Gashi as a Discovery Signing via transfer from FC Basel on February 1, 2016. He will occupy a Designated Player slot.
- He missed the first game of the season due to an Achilles injury.
- Made his season debut at New York Red Bulls (3/11), replacing Dillon Powers for the remaining 18 minutes.
- Started his first game of 2017 in game three (3/18), when he played 61 minutes of the 2-2 home tie with Minnesota United FC.
- A late withdrawal for the trip to Minnesota United FC (4/23), due to illness. He returned as a substitute for Kevin Doyle in the 2-0 loss at Orlando City SC (4/29).
- Started and went the full 90 minutes for the first time in 2017 in the 1-0 home loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC (5/5). Had five shots in the game, a third of the team's total.
- Opened his scoring account with two goals in the 3-0 home win over San Jose Earthquakes (5/13). This was the second brace of his MLS career, and followed his two goals at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on September 24, 2016.
- Credited with the assist on Kortne Ford’s goal against Sporting KC (5/27). This was Gashi's fifth MLS assist, but his first since July 9 last season and the 2-2 tie at the Whitecaps.
- Injured his hamstring in the 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC (6/3), and did not feature again in the league prior to the CONCACAF Gold Cup break, though he was on the bench for the home defeat by Seattle Sounders FC (7/4).
- He did see minutes in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup loss at FC Dallas (6/27), but was forced out of that game with a calf injury.
- Returned to the team for the 2-2 tie with Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8/5). This was his first appearance since 6/27 in the USOC (see above), and his first MLS appearance since 6/3. He had missed the previous seven league games.
- His last of just 12 starts (in 17 appearances) came at LA Galaxy on 9/2, when he played 58 minutes.
- From there, the Albanian international featured for 51 minutes across three substitute appearances, from the remaining eight games.
- Injuries were a big factor in his limited playing time in 2017, with Gashi not starting more than three games in a row.
- He did not make the 18 for the final two games of the season.
- He joined the Colorado Rapids from FC Basel of the Swiss Super League, where he scored 25 goals since his arrival to the club prior to the 2014 season.
- Gashi missed four games due to commitments with Albania at the European Championship in France. He played the final eight minutes of the opening group game against Switzerland, but was an unused sub in Albania’s remaining games against France and Romania.
- Suspended by the Disciplinary Committee for the 1-1 tie at D.C. United (March 20), after entering the field of play to celebrate with teammates the week earlier following the dramatic last-gasp goal from Marco Pappa in the home opener with LA Galaxy.
- Scored the fastest goal of the season with the opener at RSL on August 26 after just five minutes. It was the first goal scored by the Rapids inside the first 15 minutes of a game in 2016.
- Played 60 minutes of Albania’s weather-delayed 2-1 home win over Macedonia in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier (September 5/6).
- Scored a team-leading nine goals, two of which were voted AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (in the 1-1 draw at LA, 8/13, and the 3-3 tie at Vancouver, 9/24).
- His only goal at Dick's Sporting Goods Park came in the last game of the regular season, a 1-1 tie with Houston Dynamo (10/23).
- Gashi made MLS Team of the Week on three occasions (Weeks 5, 9 and 29).
- Winner of the Fans' Favorite Award - chosen through social media voting - and the Golden Boot for 2016.
- Scored from 37 yards in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal at home to LA Galaxy, on November 6, to tie the game at 1-1 on aggregate. He left the field with an injured right ankle just before halftime as the Rapids went on to win 3-1 on penalties.
- Gashi earned Swiss Super League Golden Boot honors in his last two full seasons in Europe, after scoring 19 goals for Grasshopper Club Zürich in 2013-14 and 22 goals for FC Basel in 2014-15.
- He scored a total of 26 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions in 2014-15.
- In 2014, he earned Axpo Player of the Year accolades, awarded to the best player in the Swiss Super League.
- He made his professional debut in 2006 with FC Zürich of the Swiss League and, following two loan stints with FC Schaffhausen and AC Bellinzona, joined Neuchâtel Xamax in 2010. While with Neuchâtel, Gashi appeared in 13 games (one goal) and a total of 41 games (22 goals) with FC Aarau in 2011-12.
- During his two years at Grasshoppers, Gashi saw action in 60 matches while scoring 24 goals for the club. He was a regular for a side that appeared in the UEFA Champions League as well as the UEFA Europa League.
- He was in the Basel side that held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2014-15, and which narrowly lost at home to a Cristiano Ronaldo goal in the contest with Real Madrid.
- Gashi made a combined total of 21 appearances for the Switzerland U17, U19 and U21 squads, notching eight goals.
- In 2013, Gashi earned his senior team debut for the Albanian national team after receiving his citizenship on August 18 of that year.
- At the senior level, Gashi has scored three goals in 11 appearances for Albania, including the game-winning goal against Armenia during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers on March 29, 2015.