Elmira native Tyler Pasher has been named to the Canadian men’s national team roster ahead of the country’s build-up to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup.
Featured across 14 venues in the U.S. and running from July 7-26, the Gold Cup is the confederation’s premier event for national teams every two years. Twelve national teams compete for the top spot.
Named to the team for the second time in his career, the 23-year-old is one of the only 40 men brought forward nationwide to be put on the provisional roster.
The opportunity allows for the new Canadian coach, Octavio Zambrano, to see Pasher’s skill firsthand.
Named back in May, Zambrano is a past player, technician and coach with more than 25 years of experience coaching in North America, Europe and South America.
Reached in Montreal, Pasher says it was great to be asked to join the roster.
“I have been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time, and it was a great feeling getting the emails and the calls into camp,” he said.
When asked how confident he was feeling on the roster choice, he said he was just taking it day-by-day and hoping for the best.
Pasher was playing for Sporting Kansas City as a fullback when he heard the news. The Canadian midfielder had signed a Major League Soccer contract for Sporting KC in December of 2016 after playing for the United Soccer League club affiliated with KC, the Swope Park Rangers, since March of 2016.
Prior to the USL, Pasher played with Newcastle United of the English Premier League, before returning a little closer to home to play for Toronto FC’s Academy in 2010, where he spent three years and captained the senior team’s 2012 friendly match against Liverpool.
Internationally, he has represented Canada’s National Team at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, as well as being called into the Canadian senior team to train ahead of friendly matches back in March of 2015.
Although he has reached great heights with his soccer career, Pasher’s passion began right here in Elmira with Woolwich Youth Soccer at the age of 5.
“It definitely helped me to establish my love for the sport, that’s for sure. I think if I didn’t get put into Woolwich Soccer when I was younger, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Pasher. “I got into it when I was young and it just grew on me, and from there I started exploring more and more paths in the sport.”
Reflecting back at that time he says the main thing that you have to focus on when you’re at that age is to enjoy yourself and to have fun, the more you enjoy the sport the more dedicated you will come to the game.
“The ball is always in your court and you kind of determine what you are going to be,” he advised, noting that positivity will always help when striving to achieve your goals. “I enjoy the sport, for me it’s a full-time job, and what could be more satisfying then being able to do it for a living?”
Over the past 13 CONCACAF Gold Cups Canada has won one title, with Mexico holding seven titles followed by the U.S. with five.
Canada will select their 18-man squad ahead of opening camp on June 28 in Ottawa.