Former Northwestern goalie Tyler Miller named to United States under-23 roster

By Austin Miller (@austin_james906)

Former Northwestern goalkeeper Tyler Miller was named to the roster for the United States team that will compete in the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France. The squad consists of players under the age of 23 who will be eligible to compete in the 2016 Olympics and features both Julian Green and Jordan Morris, who have been capped with the full national team.

The call-up is Miller’s second with the USA u-23 squad. Miller’s first call-up came in late March, and he made his USA debut in the second half against Denmark in Copenhagen. Though Miller allowed the only goal scored by Denmark in a 1-0 loss for the Stars and Stripes, he also made a number of strong saves to keep the Danes to just one goal, including a great save off a deflected free kick.

Miller was a four year starter at Northwestern, and posted 36 clean sheets in goal for the Wildcats. Miller was an NSCAA All-American his senior year, and led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament each year during his four-year career. In Miller’s 67 starts, Northwestern allowed less than one goal a match, an incredible number.

Miller was drafted by Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS in January, but opted to try his luck in Europe rather than play in the MLS immediately. Miller signed with SVN Zweibrücken in Germany, a fourth-division side, which was then relegated to the fifth division thanks to a poor performance this season. Miller stated in an interview with The Daily Northwestern that he’s planning on searching for a new club in Europe this summer, and if that doesn’t work out, he’ll return to MLS and play with the Sounders, who own his rights.

So, what are Miller’s chances of ever making a mark with the USMNT? The answer to that is tough, but so far it’s unlikely you’ll ever see Miller wearing the stars and stripes in the World Cup. Goalkeeper is one of the few positions where the United States has consistently produced talent (in fact, of the three Americans currently receiving steady playing time in the Barclays Premier League, two, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, are goalkeepers) meaning the path to the national team for Miller may be tough.

While Howard, Guzan, and Nick Rimando, the three keepers called up for the 2014 World Cup, are all veterans and should be finishing their time with the USMNT soon, there is a large group of good American goalkeepers who figure to be in the running for the number 1 shirt for the foreseeable future, a group that includes Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire and Bill Hamid from D.C. United. That group also includes Cody Cropper, of Southampton, who is expected to be the No. 1 keeper for the USA u-23 roster at both Toulon and in the Olympics.

While it will be tough for Miller to pass any of the above-average keepers Jurgen Klinsmann has in his national team stable, there is certainly a high chance of a successful career for the former Wildcat. Miller will have his choice of club this summer, and will almost assuredly select a club that allows him to see heavy playing time, while also aiding in his development.

Miller is in a strong position to have an impactful career as a goalkeeper, whether that’s with a club in Europe, or in the MLS with the Seattle Sounders. While that may not necessarily translate into national team success due to the overall strength of the goalie position for the United States, Miller has a chance to make his name for his country’s national team with this call-up.

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