For quite some time, Kenny Miller has been eyeing a move to Major League Soccer.
And after weeks of rumours and speculation, he finally got his wish Monday morning, when Vancouver Whitecaps FC unveiled the Scottish international as their newest Designated Player following his first training session with the club.
“It’s something I’ve definitely wanted to do at some point in my career,” Miller told reporters at a media conference at BC Place. “And what a fantastic opportunity this is to come to a great city and a fantastic club, who are having a really good season.”
WHITECAPS FC STRIKER KENNY MILLER
- Scotland’s national team captain
- Tied for sixth overall in total goals scored in all of Europe during the 2010-11 season with 26 goals
- Including 21 goals in 18 games with Rangers FC - more than a goal a game
- From 2009 to 2011, scored 56 goals in 108 matches in all competitions
- In total, scored 187 goals in 547 career club matches - more than one goal every three matches
- One of only five post-WWII players to have played for both Old Firm giants Rangers and Celtic
- Won Scottish Premier League, Scottish FA Cup, and Scottish League Cup with Rangers and Celtic
- Arrived in Vancouver on Sunday, July 15, and will join his teammates in today’s training session
Miller, 32, said he really started pushing his agent to get something done about four or five weeks ago. For their part, Whitecaps FC “jumped at the chance” to sign Miller when he became available, according to head coach Martin Rennie.
“He’s a very hardworking player, he’s a very disciplined professional player, he can score goals, but he can also create goals,” Rennie said. “We’re really excited that he’s decided to come to Vancouver. This is a big, big signing for the club.”
The Scottish national team skipper instantly becomes one of the club’s most dangerous scoring threats. If not for his scoring abilities, Miller’s work ethic will surely win Whitecaps FC fans over, as he joins the club for the second half of the MLS season.
Over his 14-year professional soccer career, Miller has scored wherever he has played. He enjoyed the most success at Rangers FC, netting 67 goals in 145 appearances during two spells with the Scottish Premier League club.
Miller’s goalscoring proficiency was on full display during the 2010-11 season, when he scored a whopping 26 goals - good enough for sixth in all of Europe.
“He was just a little bit behind people like Ronaldo and Messi,” Rennie said. “The goal threat is obviously a huge part of it, but the fact that he’s a hardworking player than can bring more to the team is actually just as important.”
One thing he can bring to the team, Rennie said, is the ability to work with the club’s younger players like rookie striker Darren Mattocks. And his versatility will allow him to fit into the squad that already boasts the likes of Mattocks and fellow strikers Eric Hassli and Camilo Sanvezzo.
Having just arrived in Vancouver on Sunday, Miller is still in the process of getting acquainted with his teammates. But the fact that midfielder Barry Robson also made the move from Scotland to Vancouver in recent weeks has eased the transition.
“I wouldn’t say it played a part in [my decision], but it definitely makes it far easier,” Miller said. “It’s definitely helped me settle in. There’s always a friendly face there.”
Although Miller said he “would love to” get into the line-up Wednesday against LA Galaxy, he acknowledged his debut will realistically have to wait a little longer, as he is coming off a long season with Cardiff City FC.
And by all indications, he will be worth the wait.