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Portland Timbers Sign Defender Roy Miller from Saprissa

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SOCCER: JUL 19 CONCACAF Gold Cup - Quarterfinals - Mexico v Costa Rica Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

The Portland Timbers have added center back Roy Miller to their roster today, signing the veteran defender from Costa Rican champions Deportivo Saprissa. Miller will bring depth to the Timbers’ currently thin center back corps, backing up presumed starters Liam Ridgewell and Gbenga Arokoyo.

Miller will be the Timbers’ second offseason acquisition from Saprissa, following on the heels of holding midfielder David Guzman. However, unlike Guzman, Miller will be staying with Saprissa through their CONCACAF Champions League matches against Mexican side Pachuca in the last week of February.

Miller, 32, made 50 appearances in all competitions for La S since joining the side from the New York Red Bulls at the start of 2016, including two appearances at center back against the Timbers in the CCL group stage. Previously, Miller was a regular at left back for the Red Bulls, where he played six seasons from 2010 to 2015, making 139 appearances.

While he has played all across the back line in his career, Miller seems most settled as a center back, showing a strong aerial game and willingness to pass the ball out of the back with Saprissa and the Costa Rican men’s national team.

Although Miller has seen success with both Costa Rica and, more recently, Saprissa, his time in MLS with Red Bulls was considerably rockier. Nonetheless, the Timbers are banking on Miller being able to reproduce his form with the Ticos and La S in his second stint in the league.

With the addition of Miller, the Timbers roster now stands at seventeen confirmed players, while Jack Barmby, Amobi Okugo, and Taylor Peay remain possibilities to re-sign with the team.

The Timbers’ press release:

TIMBERS ACQUIRE DEFENDER ROY MILLER

Versatile defender joins Portland with over 275 professional appearances, 125 games in MLS

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired defender Roy Miller via transfer from Deportivo Saprissa, it was announced today. He will be added to the Timbers’ roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Miller will remain with Saprissa through the end of February, participating in the club’s 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League fixtures before joining the Timbers ahead of the 2017 MLS campaign.

“Roy is a player with six years of experience in MLS and is excited by this opportunity to return to the league,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “He is a proven player who has been an integral part of Saprissa’s recent success, and we look forward to him making similar contributions with the Timbers.”

Miller, 32, joins the Timbers with more than 275 professional appearances since beginning his career in 2003, including six seasons in MLS. A native of San Jose, Costa Rica, Miller comes to Portland after spending the past two seasons in the Costa Rica Primera Division with Club Deportivo Saprissa, making 48 appearances (48 starts) and scoring four goals across all competitions. In 2016, Miller helped Saprissa win its 33rd Primera Division Championship, claiming the 2016 Torneo de Invierno title, while making four appearances (4 starts) in the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.

"Roy Miller is a quality professional on and off the pitch who has won trophies for Saprissa and in MLS,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “He will be an important piece on our roster, adding versatility and depth in three positions and giving us another leader in the locker room."

Prior to signing with Saprissa, the defender spent six seasons in MLS with the New York Red Bulls (2010-15), making 125 appearances (114 starts) and tallying 15 assists, while also making 10 appearances (8 starts) in the postseason. While playing with the Red Bulls, Miller helped the club win the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2013.

After beginning his career in Costa Rica with C.S. Cartaginés in 2003, Miller signed with Norwegian first-division sideFK Bodø/Glimt, scoring six goals in 52 appearances. Following three seasons with FK Bodø/Glimt, Miller joined Norway’s most decorated club, Rosenborg BK, earning 20 appearances with the team, including three appearances (1 start) in the UEFA Europa League.

Additionally, Miller has made more than 50 appearances for the Costa Rica National Team since making his debut in 2005, winning a Copa Centroamericana title in 2014. Miller has represented Costa Rica during FIFA World Cup qualifying (2006 and 2014) and the CONCACAF Gold Cup (2005, 2013 and 2015), scoring two goals as a defender across all competitions.

Transaction: Portland Timbers acquire defender Roy Miller via transfer from Deportivo Saprissa on Jan. 4, 2017.

Roy Miller

Position: Defender

Height: 6-2Weight: 165

Born: Nov. 24, 1984, in San Jose, Costa Rica

Last Club: Club Deportivo Saprissa

College: n/a

Citizenship: Costa Rica

Acquired: Acquired from Deportivo Saprissa on Jan. 4, 2017