Lane United FC has announced the commitments of three more players, all three with excellent youth training resumes, for the 2014 inaugural season in the Premier Development League. Amer Sasivarevic of Salt Lake City, Tarik Salkicic from the University of Tulsa, and Duran Lee from Toronto — the latter pending league approval — will be joining the Reds in May.
Meanwhile, Coco Navarro of Marquette, who had been expected to play for Lane United in the upcoming season, has received an invitation to train with MLS club Real Salt Lake over the summer and hence will not be coming to Oregon.
Regarding the three latest players, head coach John Galas was full of praise, noting that all three had top pedigrees for training at the youth level. Amer Sasiveravic, Galas said, “is a neat story.” Sasiveravic was born in Germany to Bosnian parents but emigrated to Utah in 1999. Galas mentioned that “at RSL (Real Salt Lake, where Galas was a youth academy coach), we saw him at an ID camp and he was one of the few players that stood out. We invited him to the RSL residency program and within a month he was getting big minutes.” Galas repeatedly praised Sasiveravic’s versatility, saying that “as a left-footer with great all-around skills, he can play at fullback, as a left-sided midfielder, or as a winger in a front three. He’s played in a lot of different positions in the past few years, competently at all of them.” He currently attends Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Another player of Bosnian descent, Tarik Salkicic, also earned high praise from Galas for his exploits at the youth level. Salkicic too was born in Europe and moved to the U.S. as a child, ending up in Florida. For two years in high school, Salkicic was part of the U.S. U-17 national team residency program, traveling to Mexico in 2011 and playing in the U-17 World Cup. “As a national residency player, he was obviously one of the top college recruits in the country coming out of high school,” Galas said, adding that Salkicic can play “as a number six or as a center-back.” Salkicic matriculated to the University of Tulsa, where he earned regular playing time over the past two years. He will transfer to Oregon State in the fall of 2014 after his campaign with Lane United.
The final player, Duran Lee, comes out of the youth academy of Toronto FC, another MLS club. Galas noted the high quality of Toronto FC’s youth academy and coaching and said, “I know that he’s a big, strong center-half who nonetheless has good technical ability and is composed on the ball,” Galas said. “He should be able to help us play out of the back, which is what we’re really trying to do this year, with his good ball skills.” Lee spent the 2013 college season at Western Texas College, a junior college in the small town of Snyder, Texas, but may be looking to transfer, Galas said. “Playing in the PDL is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talent in the Northwest,” he added.
Regarding the one that got away — Coco Navarro, who has been called up to train with the Real Salt Lake first team for the summer — Galas stressed that “this is a really positive development. Coco obviously has the goal of going pro one day soon, so to get a trial with the first team of an MLS club is excellent for him. Galas added that, contingent on the alignment of the clubs’ respective schedules, Lane United may still take Navarro on loan for a few matches in the PDL season.
Lane United, with the addition of the latest three but the subtraction of Navarro, now has seventeen players fully committed to the 2014 roster. Most will begin training with the club in the first weeks of May. Until then, basic information about them will be available on the roster page.