LAFC Keeper: 'We Showed LA Galaxy And Zlatan Too Much Respect'
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In the four months since LAFC selected Tyler Miller with the first overall pick in the 2017 MLS expansion draft, he has rubbed shoulders with Will Ferrell, debuted with a clean sheet against his former team in Seattle and come face-to-face with the newly-elected mayor of Los Angeles, Zlatan.
After racing out to a three-goal lead against the Galaxy, LAFC looked poised to open the season with nine points from three games. Enter Zlatan. "He came on and he changed the game for them," Miller told The18. "But at the same time, we showed them a little bit too much respect, and we let the foot off the gas pedal."
Prior to the stunning Galaxy comeback, LAFC had opened the season in high gear. Miller made seven saves to earn a clean sheet against Seattle, the team he had won the 2016 MLS Cup with as a reserve keeper.
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"Fans were chanting 'Stefan Frei taught you everything you know.' I just gave them a little clap and took it as a sign of respect."
Miller honed his skills backing up Frei for two seasons, so earning MLS Team of the Week honors after his clean sheet in Seattle was all the more satisfying for him.
"I am grateful for everything I learned under Stef, but I was definitely ready to move on," Miller said.
Miller has an opportunity to pay it forward with LAFC. Minority owner Will Ferrell played at every position in MLB Spring Training two years ago in Arizona, so he could very well have his sights set on the pitch in LA.
"I would love to see him get out on the training field," Miller said. "I could teach him how to distract the forwards as they're about to shoot."
For now, though, it seems that LAFC is more than happy with Miller in goal. He and his teammates will get a chance to bounce back from the derby defeat this Saturday in Atlanta. And you can be sure that LAFC has circled July 26 on its calendar for a revenge date against the Galaxy.
"The rivalry will grow and fester into something very special for MLS," Miller said. "Each team desperately wants to the get the win for their supporters."
If future derbies are anything like the first installment, MLS fans are in for a treat. But don't expect another 40-yard strike. Miller will be ready when the mayor tees up from distance next time around.