If you’ve played against or watched Indy Eleven‘s Tyler Pasher this season, you have little doubt about how good he is. Funny enough, the main thing pushing the reigning USL Championship Player of the Month star this season is proving that to himself. When asked what’s helped most as he’s scored eight goals in the first nine matches, Pasher told BGN, “The motivation to see how good I can truly be at the game. As a kid, I always wanted to strive for the highest level and I truly believed in myself to get there.”
“As the years went on, I slowly started drifting away growing less confident in myself and my abilities. Last year and this year, I’ve went all-in to give it one full go to express myself and see how good I can truly be.”
Despite only being 26 years old, Pasher’s had an interesting soccer journey that has tested his resolve at times. Early on in that journey, the Canadian had the opportunity to train with the Newcastle United Academy in England during breaks from school before he eventually began playing with the club’s reserves side. “My time in Newcastle taught me everything I know about the game today and the passion that I have for it,” he said. “Seeing what competition was like at such a young age and the drive that these kids had was incredible.” He added that he still has a few friends from his time over there that he chats with often and have visited him here in the States.
Work permit issues prevented him from continuing his growth with Newcastle and Tyler returned to Canada to play in the Toronto FC Academy, but he only featured in friendlies for the first team. Pasher left his native country again, but this time it was to play for PS Kemi in Finland and Lansing United and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the NPSL and USL, respectively.
After his time in Pittsburgh was done, Pasher’s options were limited…to one single club: Swope Park Rangers. “When my agent called me, he said this was the only opportunity he could find, putting me on the edge of ending my soccer career going five months without playing,” he recalled. “Sporting KC gave me that shot to see if I could give my career one last run.”
“Those years were a fantastic learning experience. Kansas City gave me the opportunity to start kicking a ball again.”
He rewarded the organization’s trust in him by helping the first-year USL affiliate get to the USL Cup Final in 2016 before being signed to the first team. He would return on loan in 2017 to help get Swope back to the final again.
SKC traded Pasher and Kevin Oliveira to Atlanta United, but with his option already declined by KC, Pasher would never join the club and instead signed with Indy Eleven ahead of the 2018 USL season. That winding road led him to a great spot where he’s had his most successful run, with more than 20 goals for the Eleven. Looking back on how he got here, how would Pasher describe his career thus far? “My journey is on the exact path it is meant to be on,” he answered. “As a youngster, I was naive believing that things were going to happen on my schedule. With age, I began to understand that things just take time and what is meant to be will be. The path I’ve taken has taught me the lessons and matured me in a way that I would not have experienced had I wanted to go ‘my route’.”
No matter how he got here, Pasher has become a star with Indy and has helped the club get off to a great start in 2020, sitting at 6-2-1 and atop the Group E table. In the star forward’s opinion, this club is poised for much more than a good early season run. “This club can go as far as they want to this season,” Pasher explained. “Very rarely, I would say, that the fate is up to the players on this roster. We are so deep with talent it is insane.”
Indy Eleven have a weekend off before they travel to Lynn Family Stadium next Wednesday for a showdown with Louisville City FC. With the two top teams in their group facing off, Tyler Pasher will need to continue to prove to himself how good he can be as Indy looks to secure a big win on the road.