While it was pretty clear that it was no longer a rumor, especially after Merritt Paulson's tweet last night, the Portland Timbers made it officially official this morning by issuing a press release announcing Ryan Miller's signing to the club. The veteran soccer player should be able to train with the Timbers starting this week as he, however, he wont be officially added to the club until his International Transfer Certificate is finalized.
Here is what head coach Caleb Porter had to say about the signing:
"Ryan is an experienced pro and a great addition to the club. His ability to go box to box as a right back fits what we are looking for in that position. He is another proven piece that brings traits we want in the locker room as well."
With Miller's arrival it will be interesting to see who fits in that right back slot. I wouldn't immediately assume it goes to Miller, as Jack Jewsbury could prove during the pre-season to be a better right back. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
Next? Where's our new centerback and where is Jonathan Bornstein?
What do you think of Ryan Miller joining the squad?
Full press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have signed defender Ryan Miller, it was announced today. Miller returns to MLS after four seasons in Sweden, where he recently helped Halmstads BK regain promotion to the country's top flight. He will be added to the Timbers' roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Miller, 28, was originally selected by the Columbus Crew in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and after two seasons in MLS signed with Sweden's Ljungskile SK in 2009. He then joined Halmstads BK in 2010 and became a key contributor for the club, appearing in 73 league matches over three seasons in Sweden's top leagues.
Miller has arrived in Portland and will participate in the Timbers first preseason training session Monday morning at JELD-WEN Field.
"Ryan is an experienced pro and a great addition to the club," said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. "His ability to go box to box as a right back fits what we are looking for in that position. He is another proven piece that brings traits we want in the locker room as well."
A native of Barrington, Ill., Miller was a fixture on the backline for Halmstads BK during the 2012 season, starting all 30 matches, recording eight assists and aiding in 12 shutouts as the club finished in third place in Sweden's Superettan (second division) and regained promotion to the Allsvenskan through the promotional playoff.
Miller first arrived in Sweden with Ljungskile SK of the second division in 2009, playing in 12 league matches and recording two assists. With Halmstads BK, Miller started 26 games in the Allsvenskan during his first season with the club in 2010.
As a result of his play in Sweden, Miller was called into camp with the U.S. National Team by former head coach Bob Bradley in January 2011.
He was selected No. 31 overall by Columbus in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and spent time with Columbus (2008) and D.C. United (2008-09) before taking his career abroad. While with D.C. United, Miller played in three matches during the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League.
Miller had a standout collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame from 2003-07. As a senior, he scored six goals and logged four assists in 24 games, earning second team NSCAA All-America and first team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. In total, Miller played in 91 games, recording seven goals and 11 assists for the Fighting Irish, and finished his collegiate career having started 86 consecutive games.
Born: Dec. 14, 1984, in Barrington, Ill.
Hometown: Barrington, Ill.
Last Club: Halmstads BK (Sweden)
College: University of Notre Dame
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed Jan. 21, 2013.