The Sounders have signed second-round draft pick Tyler Miller, a goalkeeper out of Northwestern University, to a minor-league contract, they confirmed Thursday — though perhaps a few months later than they originally thought.
Seattle traded away Homegrown Player forward Sean Okoli to move up and select Miller with the 33rd pick of this winter’s MLS Superdraft. Miller was projected as one of the top goalkeepers in the draft, but saw his stock fall after skipping the league combine and making clear his intentions to start his career in Europe.
And though he admitted Thursday that he did seriously consider the joining the Sounders immediately after the draft, Miller ultimately opted to sign with SVN Zweibrücken in the German fourth division.
“It was tough. It’s not as glamorous as you see on TV,” Miller said. “… Playing in a smaller division in Germany was difficult.
“You get thrown into an environment where you don’t know the language. You have to learn quickly. If you don’t, you’re not going to survive.”
Miller, a four-year starter at Northwestern and a NSCAA All-American as a senior, jumps into a crowded depth chart in the Sounders organization. Though first-choice goalkeeper Stefan Frei is likely to miss this weekend’s match in Chicago after injuring his shoulder against D.C., he’s expected to recover quickly. Veteran Troy Perkins will deputize in Frei’s absence, and another 2015 draft pick, Charlie Lyon out of Marquette, has been drawing strong reviews for his performance with S2.
“Of all my years here, those are the two best young goalkeepers we’ve had,” Schmid said of Miller and Lyon.
S2 faces off against Arizona United on Sunday at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, with kickoff set for 5 p.m.