Nor'easters alum Tyler Miller fighting for starting job with Seattle Sounders

After frustrating 2015 season, Miller signed with the Sounders and made his MLS debut on his birthday


Photo: Seattle Sounders FC

Tyler Miller is the latest in the long line of Ocean City Nor’easters to make the jump from the Premier Development League (PDL) to Major League Soccer (MLS). The Woodbury, NJ native is living his dream as a professional soccer player. He is enjoying his first season as a goalkeeper for the Seattle Sounders and already made his MLS debut. .

Miller’s time with the Nor’easters was very successful as he was the backup to current Philadelphia Union goalkeeper John McCarthy. He was 2-0-0 in his three appearances with the team. His eight saves and 0.90 goals against average only added to his already impressive college resume at Northwestern University where he was a three-time all-Big Ten goalkeeper and an All-American as a senior.

After his time in Ocean City, Miller spent his last two summers closer to the Northwestern campus, playing for the PDL's Chicago Fire U-23s. After college, he signed with SVN Zweibrücken, a fourth division club in Germany, where he made 10 appearances.

“Germany was a learning experience,” said Miller, who finished his college career as the Big Ten’s all-time leader in shutouts (36). “I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was able to get some good experience playing a foreign league, as well as two opportunities with the Under-23 national team while over there."

The international experience he referenced was when he earned his second cap, and his first career start, for the United States Under-23 National Team. He made his debut on June 2 in a 1-0 win against Qatar in the Toulon Tournament, in which the U.S. finished third. He was recently called up to the team in the United States' Olympic playoff against Colombia but didn't appear in either game as the Yanks fell short of qualifying.

With all that momentum going his way with the outstanding college career, foreign experience, and then international experience, he had a stroke of bad luck. After pitching a shutout in his first career USL start (a 4-0 win over Arizona United), he tore a ligament in his thumb in training and was out for the rest of the season.

Despite the bad luck, Miller still feels that he made the right decision to return stateside.

"Coming back to the Sounders was just the right move for the development of my career," said Miller.

This offseason, Miller would sign with the Sounders first team and became the team’s second keeper on the depth chart. He would celebrate his 23rd birthday by getting the start in the Seattle’s second game of the season against Real Salt Lake. Miller was filling in for Sounders starter Stefan Frei who was injured. Miller made two saves in 2-1 loss but many observers considered his MLS debut to be impressive.

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