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LAFC’s Tyler Miller shines in return to Seattle

Goalkeeper comes up big in season-opening win.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Seattle Sounders FC
Los Angeles FC goalkeeper Tyler Miller (1) jumps for the ball during a Sounders corner kick during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Los Angeles defeated Seattle 1-0.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Sunday, there was a pretty big weight on the shoulders of Los Angeles Football Club goalkeeper Tyler Miller.

Not only was he returning to Seattle, where he began his MLS career with the Seattle Sounders in 2016 after a short stint in Germany, but he was coming back as the starting goalkeeper on an expansion team, making their debut in league play.

“You can kind of get to that point where you can see that first game,” Miller said in an interview on the team’s website prior to Sunday’s game. “It’s a very exciting emotion for me.”

And Miller didn’t disappoint as he came up with a crucial save in the first half and, along with captain Laurent Ciman, directed a defense that halted Seattle’s offense into the second half to preserve a 1-0 season-opening win on the road.

“It’s incredible and I can’t thank the fans enough,” Miller said to ESPN following the win. “The effort by the team … the whole game was tremendous and to come away with a 1-0 win in our first game in history is amazing.”

In all, Miller had seven saves on the afternoon, all amid the pressure of being a relatively untested keeper – played in just two regular season games for Seattle after he was drafted; serving mostly as a backup to Stefan Frei – and with a national spotlight squarely shining on LAFC.

“Playing against Seattle was a good moment for me to be back here because I really enjoy this city, I really like this city and this organization,” Miller told SoundersFC.com. “It was a funny experience because before the game I was saying hi to everybody. Everything was friendly, good humor and good banter. At the end of the day, it’s 90 minutes and you’re out there playing a soccer game and having fun.”

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