Portland Timbers sign ex-Red Bulls defender Roy Miller from Saprissa

Roy Miller

Roy Miller is headed back to MLS, as the Portland Timbers announced on Wednesday that they’ve acquired the veteran defender via transfer from Costa Rican club Saprissa.

The former New York Red Bull will remain with Saprissa through the end of February to participate in the club’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches before joining the Timbers ahead of the 2017 MLS season.

“Roy is a player with six years of experience in MLS and is excited by this opportunity to return to the league,” Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement released by the club. “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 played with the Red Bulls from 2010 through the 2015 season, tallying 15 assists in 135 career regular season and playoff appearances for New York. He left the club following the 2015 season to join Saprissa in his native Costa Rica, appearing in 48 games over the last calendar year to help the San Jose side to their 33rd Primera Division championship and making four starts in the CCL.

"Roy Miller is a quality professional on and off the pitch who has won trophies for Saprissa and in MLS,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said in the statement. “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."

Internationally, Miller has made more than 50 appearances for the Costa Rica national team, representing the country during World Cup qualifying and three different CONCACAF Gold Cups.

He’s the second Costa Rican to leave Saprissa to sign for Portland this winter, joining midfielder David Guzman with the Timbers. Additionally, he’s the fifth Costa Rican to move to MLS this winter and the sixth player to move to the league from the Costa Rican top flight, joining Guzman, D.C.’s Jose Guillermo Ortiz (on loan from Herediano), Dallas’ Jose Salvatierra (on loan from Alajuelense), Houston’s Panamanian defender Adolfo Machado (transfer from Saprissa) and Minnesota’s Francisco Calvo (transfer from Saprissa).