The Swope Park Rangers have signed defender Amer Didic and midfielder Tyler Pasher, the club announced today. Didic signs after playing collegiate soccer locally at Baker University, while Pasher spent the 2015 season in the United Soccer League with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Didic will join pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC), while the signing of Pasher is also pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa.
Both Didic and Pasher joined the Rangers as trialists during the club’s preseason. The two players appeared in all four of the Rangers’ games in the Desert Diamond Cup.
Born in Bosnia but raised in Edmonton, Canada, Didic joins the Swope Park Rangers after playing college soccer locally at Baker University. With the Wildcats, the 21-year-old made 84 appearances, scoring 28 goals and adding six assists from central defense. His scoring exploits led the team in both his junior and senior seasons. A two-time NAIA All-American, Didic was named a NSCAA All-American as a senior, while he also earned Heart of America Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors in his final year with Baker.
In the summer of 2015, Didic was called up to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport roster for the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea. Didic made three appearances in the tournament, all starts – coming against Italy, Russia and Iran.
“I'm excited to be a part of this organization,” Didic said. “I'm ready to work hard and be the best teammate I can be. I’m looking forward to winning games and having a successful season.”
“Since day one of training camp, Amer came in with a very strong mentality,” Swope Park Rangers head coach Marc Dos Santos said. “He knew he would have to fight for a spot in the squad and he did everything he needed to do to earn that spot. If he keeps on working and progressing in the way he did during training camp, he could definitely play an important role this season.”
Pasher, 21, signs for the Rangers after spending the 2015 USL season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. A versatile player that can player either at full back or on the wing, Pasher made 23 appearances in all competitions for the Riverhounds last season, scoring two goals – coming against Toronto FC II and New York Red Bulls II.
The Elmira, Ontario native began his youth career with Newcastle United of the English Premier League, before joining Toronto FC’s Academy in 2010 – notably captaining Toronto FC’s senior team in a friendly against Liverpool in 2012.
Pasher signed for Finnish side PS Kemi in 2013 and made 24 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals that season. The following year, Pasher joined National Premier Soccer League team Lansing United for their inaugural season in the NPSL. Pasher had three goals and six assists for Lansing in 10 games, culminating in NPSL Supporters’ XI honors at the end of the season before joining the Riverhounds.
Internationally, Pasher has represented the Canadian National Team at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, while he was also called into the senior team to train ahead of friendlies against Guatemala and Puerto Rico in March 2015.
“I'm extremely excited and thankful to be joining the Swope Park Rangers for their first-ever season in the USL,” Pasher said. “Marc Dos Santos and Nikola Popovic are fantastic coaches that I'm excited to learn from throughout the season. Our team has some great talent and I feel we will make a huge impact in the league.”
“We needed a player that would provide us with some depth on the left side,” Dos Santos said. “He is a player who could play a role both at left back and left wing. We knew Tyler from the Canadian Youth National Teams and he did very well when joining us in camp, so we’re very happy to have him joining our squad."
Amer Didic (UH-meer JEE-ditch)
Born: 12/28/94 (21 years old)
Weight: 195 lbs.
College: Baker University
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Birthplace: Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Born: 4/27/94 (21 years old)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Last Club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)
Hometown: Elmira, Ontario
Birthplace: Elmira, Ontario