Two players, midfielder Tyler Pasher, and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejasto, have signed contracts with Sporting Kansas City for the 2017 season, according to a club announcement.
Pasher and Zendejas were the first players to sign Major League Soccer contracts from the Swope Park Rangers, the United Soccer League affiliate of Sporting Kansas City. Pasher, a Canadian,will occupy an international spot on Sporting KC’s roster.
Pasher, 22, joined the Rangers in March after a successful preseason spell and played a leading role during the club’s inaugural USL campaign. He started 26 of 28 USL appearances with five goals and four assists (including playoffs), tallying three of his assists in the postseason as the Rangers were crowned USL Western Conference champions and advanced to the USL Cup Final.
Capable of playing as a left back or left winger, Pasher opened his Rangers scoring account with a brace versus Tulsa Roughnecks FC on May 14 and netted the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over rivals Saint Louis FC on July 2. He added a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win at OKC Energy FC on Sept. 18, a result that guaranteed the Rangers a spot in the USL Cup Playoffs. The Ontario native bagged his final goal of 2016 six days later against Seattle Sounders FC 2.
Pasher was named to Sporting Kansas City’s roster for the 2016-2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League in August and made his club debut on Sept. 13 at Children’s Mercy Park, starting and playing 90 minutes at left back versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
After beginning his youth career with Newcastle United in England, Pasher joined Toronto FC’s Academy in 2010. He became a professional in 2013 upon signing for Finnish club PS Kemi, then returned to North America for stints with NPSL outfit Lansing United (2014) and the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2015).
Internationally, Pasher has featured for the Canadian Men’s National Team at the U-17 and U-20 levels. He was also named to Canada’s senior team in March 2015 to train ahead of friendlies against Guatemala and Puerto Rico.
Zendajas, 21, joined the Swope Park Rangers last June. He made his debut in a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy II on Aug. 27 and started five of the team’s final seven regular season matches, amassing a perfect 5-0-0 record with three shutouts, 13 saves and a 0.40 goals against average. Zendejas carried his great form into the postseason, earning two more clean sheets as the Rangers rattled off three straight victories en route to the USL Cup Final.
Zendejas finished the 2016 USL campaign with a 0.86 goals against average, five shutouts and 22 saves (including playoffs). The Rangers went 8-1-0 when he started, with the only loss coming in the USL Cup Final at New York Red Bulls II on Oct. 23.
Born and raised in Chula Vista, Calif., Zendejas previously played for Club Tijuana in Mexico from 2014 to 2015. He featured extensively for Tijuana’s U-20 side, totaling 31 league appearances while helping the Xolos reach the 2015 Apertura final and 2016 Clausura final. The 6-foot-5 goalkeeper made his first-team debut for Tijuana in a friendly against Club Leon on July 3, 2015 – claiming a 1-0 shutout win – before playing three additional preseason matches that summer.
– Story from Sporting KC