BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – Baker University alum Amer Didic has been signed by Sporting KC of Major League Soccer (MLS), announced on Wednesday by the club.
He has signed a contract for the 2017 season with options for 2018, 2019 and 2020, becoming the first-ever former Baker University men's soccer player to sign with a team from the MLS.
The 22-year-old center back is the third player to sign an MLS contract from USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers, following defender Tyler Pasher and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas who joined Sporting Kansas City in December.
"I am very excited for this opportunity," Didic said. "This is something I have been striving to do for the last year and a half, but it doesn't stop here. I want to take what I've learned from the Swope Park Rangers and help Sporting Kansas City stay successful and contend for championships. I feel prepared to step in and do what I need to do for the team to win."
"Signing Amer is something we have been planning since the beginning of the year when he joined us for preseason," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said.
"He is someone who came to the Swope Park Rangers last year and has made an incredible evolution in a short period of time. He's a very good defender with the ball at his feet and he's incredibly agile for his size. I'm excited for Amer because not many people knew about him out of college, and I appreciate when players get rewarded for staying committed and going after their dream."
Didic made 32 appearances for the Rangers during his first professional season in 2016, receiving USL All-League First Team honors as a Defender of the Year finalist after appearing on USL's Team of the Week a league-high six times. In addition to leading SPR to a Western Conference championship and an appearance in the USL Cup Final, the 6-foot-4 defender played all 90 minutes in three CONCACAF Champions League matches for Sporting Kansas City.
Before starting six matches this season for the Rangers, Didic kicked off 2017 with his debut for the Canada U-23 Men's National Team in March. He started and played the full 90 minutes in consecutive shutout wins over Uzbekistan and Qatar as Canada was crowned champion of the U-23 tournament in Doha, Qatar.
Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and raised in Edmonton, Canada, Didic spent a four-year college career at Baker University in nearby Baldwin City, Kansas, where he was a two-time NAIA All-American and landed NSCAA All-American and Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2015.
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