VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Scottish mafia in Vancouver has a new member, and new Designated Player Kenny Miller already feels like he’s among family.
The Whitecaps unveiled the Scottish international on Monday at BC Place. He joins fellow Scots Barry Robson, head coach Martin Rennie and assistant coach Paul Ritchie. And although assistant coach Carl Robinson is Welsh, he’s an old teammate of Miller’s from their time at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the early 2000s.
WATCH: Miller meets the media
“There’s a few friendly faces out here already,” Miller said. “I’ve played with both Carl Robinson and Paul Ritchie at some stage in my career. And obviously Barry Robson making the step a few months before me was always going to make it easier to settle.”
Settling in easily – and quickly – with the Whitecaps is vital for Miller, 32. The squad has defended well this season, but they have struggled at times to find the back of the net. The Caps have scored the fewest goals of any of the teams currently in playoff position, and they are the only one with a negative goal differential. The hope is Miller can address that issue.
“We’ve been one of the better teams in MLS for that statistic – I think we’ve got more clean sheets than anyone in this league,” Rennie said during the press conference. “But we aren’t scoring quite as many goals as we would like. We want to be more proactive with what we’re doing going forward, and when the opportunity came forward to sign Kenny Miller we really were excited to do it and jumped at the chance.”
Miller has amassed 187 goals in 547 club matches, primarily in the Scottish Premier League and England’s top two tiers, so far in his career. It remains to be seen if his success in Europe will translate to North America. But Miller says the opportunity to join an MLS team was one he couldn’t pass up.
“I’ve talked about it a lot with my agent and my family over the last few years,” Miller said. “It’s something I’ve definitely wanted to do at some point in my career and what a fantastic opportunity to come to a great city, a fantastic club who are having a really good season and are sitting in a fantastic position.”
The Whitecaps are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference. They next host the LA Galaxy on Wednesday (10 pm ET, TSN2, MLS LIVE), but Rennie says Miller likely won’t figure in the match.
“Hopefully I can get in the team soon and play my part,” Miller said. “And hopefully we can push us on and secure a playoff spot, which would be a fantastic achievement for the club.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.