NPSL COMBINE STANDOUT MAKING AN IMPACT WITH THE RIVERHOUNDS

It has been an incredible 2015 for Tyler Pasher. He signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, making his USL debut on April 11 against Saint Louis F.C. He was called up to the Canadian men’s national team for a pair of friendlies in March.

2014 wasn’t so bad either, having won a conference title with Lansing United in the organization’s inaugural season. He reestablished himself as a legitimate prospect, a player that was ready again for the bright lights of professional soccer.

Playing at a high level is nothing new for the Elmira, Ontario native. Earlier in his career he trained with Newcastle United before landing in the Toronto FC academy system. He would go on to earn a spot on the TFC senior roster for an exhibition match against Liverpool in 2012, a game played in front of over 33,000 fans. He would spend the 2013 in the Finnish first division with PS Kemi Kings. This is in addition to his time with the Canadian U-17 and U-20 national teams along the way.

And Pasher credits Lansing United and its coaching staff for much of his recent success.

“(Lansing United head coach) Eric Rudland always made it professional,” Pasher said. “We always had regular training and a nice field and stadium. They helped me improve my game.”

Pasher also praised the work of Lansing United owner Jeremy Sampson, calling him “a classy gentleman with a true passion for soccer.” Pasher recalled Sampson’s welcoming personality and the barbecues at the owner’s home.

Pasher remembers his entire NPSL experience with great fondness, especially playing with current New York Cosmos B standout Brian Cunningham.

“Brian and I had a connect on the field,” Pasher continued.  “I really miss playing with him; he was so talented.”

Pasher and Cunningham were both products of the NPSL’s first combine, an event that took place in Ft. Lauderdale in January.  According to Pasher, it was a great opportunity for all NPSL players.

“You couldn’t put a price on something like that.  It was a great idea because there is a lot of talent in the NPSL.  We saw plenty of MLS, NASL, and USL scouts. I really appreciate what the NPSL did for me.”

It wasn’t a surprise when Pasher signed a professional contract after the combine.  He is after all a player with unlimited potential.

“Tyler was obviously instrumental to our success in 2014 and a privilege for us to work with,” Rudland commented. “It has been rewarding for Lansing United to see Tyler push on to the pro ranks. He is a phenomenal talent and has done well at the USL level and with the full Canadian men’s national team.”

The future is certainly bright for the Canadian defender/midfielder.

“Tyler is still a young player with a bright future,” Rudland concluded. “I’m excited to see him grow into his full capacity and push on to higher levels of the pro ranks.”

The present is not too bad either as Pasher has made an impact with the Riverhounds. He has started seven games, scoring a goal in 727 minutes.

Pittsburgh head coach Mark Steffens is excited to have Pasher as part of his squad.

“Tyler is an attacking full-back with an educated left foot who provides great service whipping balls in from the left side. He’s got grit and good experience for his age through playing with the Canadian national youth teams. He’s got some work to do, but we’re expecting some big things from him.”

Pasher is making the most of this opportunity and is really enjoying his time in Pennsylvania. He has become fond of Pittsburgh and its soccer fans.

“It’s a really nice city. We have one of the nicest facilities in the league. It has everything you could ever need. The supporters have been great; they are never down in spirit.”

Getting to play at Highmark Stadium is certainly a plus as the modern riverfront facility is easily one of America’s best. Surrounded by a veteran coaching staff and talented teammates, Pasher is in a very good situation indeed.

Thanks to the NPSL and its inaugural combine, even bigger things are in store for Tyler Pasher, a player with endless potential and skill. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the NASL or MLS or even making a return to national team duty. The sky is literally the limit for the former Lansing United star.

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