Tyler Pasher was standing on a steel construction site in Elmira, Ontario, when the call came. On the other end of the line, his agent relayed a job offer. But it would require some quick maneuvering.
The Swope Park Rangers, a development team for Sporting Kansas City, had a need, but in less than 24 hours, they were convening in Tucson, Ariz., for their inaugural training camp.
"I said absolutely," Pasher said. "I emptied out my savings account and bought a plane ticket."
Never mind that he hadn't played competitive soccer in four months, save for a few appearances in an indoor men's league. Within the hour, he secured a plane ticket. By nightfall, he was in the gym, running laps to fake his way into soccer playing shape.
Fewer than 24 hours later, he arrived in Tucson.
"Tyler went against all the science," Swope Park coach Marc Dos Santos said. "He comes in to preseason with no preparation. He trained three days, and he played against Colorado (in a preseason match), and he was one of our best players.
"We signed him then."
The move has paid off for player and team alike, with Pasher, 22, developing into a key cog for the Rangers, who will play for the United Soccer League championship Sunday. The Rangers will travel to face the New York Red Bulls II at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
On a team unexpected to make a playoff run in its expansion season, Pasher didn't expect to be here at all. But he finished the regular season fourth on the team with five goals and tied for fourth with 21 games started.
"They've given me the opportunity to get a chance to play in a professional environment with professional facilities," Pasher said. "I didn't think I would ever have that."
In the days preceding the February phone call, in conversations with family and friends, Pasher had acknowledged a reality — his professional playing days were likely behind him. After spending the 2015 season with USL club Pittsburgh Riverhounds, he was out of a job and subsequently moved back in with his parents while working for his father's construction company.
A couple of weeks before preseason, his agent called Dos Santos, hoping to get Pasher a tryout. Dos Santos called his brother, Phillip, who had coached Pasher in the Canadian youth national team system.
"He told me, 'Take him. You're going to love him,'" Dos Santos said.
It's the work rate that stood out most to both Dos Santos brothers. Pasher is highly regarded for his ability to cover ground for 90 minutes.
It comes from his background, Pasher says.
"When you're working 12-hour days and think it's all over, the last minutes of a game seem easy," Pasher said. "You're going to push yourself as hard as you can every single minute, every single day because you know what it's like not to have it."