Tyler Miller is departing Los Angeles Football Club, as the goalkeeper’s MLS rights were traded to Minnesota United FC in exchange for $150,000 in general allocation money in 2020 and $50,000 in targeted allocation money in 2021.
“Tyler will always be part of our history, helping us achieve great success as our starting goalkeeper during our first two seasons in MLS,” said LAFC EVP & General Manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “We want to thank him for his impactful contributions in our community, and wish him nothing but the best of luck as he begins this next chapter of his career.”
Miller, 26, spent the last two seasons with LAFC, after being the team’s first pick in their expansion draft ahead of the 2018 season. Brought in to compete for the starting spot with Honduran international Luis Lopez or even be Lopez’s backup, his competition instead was hurt nearly all of the 2018 season, and Miller emerged as a solid starter as LAFC had a good first season in the league.
In 2019, Miller remained the starter, and his career seemed to be in ascendence into the summer as he started the season hot and was rewarded with a selection to the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the Concacaf Gold Cup.
But Miller, the only player in Gregg Berhalter’s roster not to see a minute in the Gold Cup, came back to LAFC in the summer totally out of form and never recovered it. He split time over the final months of the season with Pablo Sisniega, and at times his crisis of confidence appeared to be palpable on the field.
In all, he played 61 regular-season games for LAFC, and three playoffs games for the black-and-gold, on top of helping LAFC win their first piece of silverware, the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, and win their first playoff game, over local rivals LA Galaxy.
In the offseason, Miller, who was one of the lowest paid starting goalkeepers in MLS, was out of contract, and this week he was not in preseason camp for LAFC. After Bob Bradley mentioned the player and team alike were both exploring their options, that seemed to seal Miller’s fate, confirmed when LAFC announced the signing of Dutch veteran Kenneth Vermeer on Wednesday.
Minnesota are in need of a starting goalkeeper, after last year’s No. 1, Vito Mannone, appears to want to play in Europe instead of returning to the Loons. Mannone was MLS Goalkeeper of the Year last year, so there are some big shoes to fill for his replacement, but if Miller can recover his form from the first half of 2019, he has the potential to be a seamless replacement, and at a fraction of Mannone’s price, too.
And if you’re wondering why LAFC got only $200,000 back for Miller, it’s because he was out of contract. Yes, even a player who is not under contract still warrants some money back in a trade, because MLS. Like it or not, that’s the system.
What do you think about this deal? Happy for Miller? Ready to move on? Leave a comment below!