Canada men’s national team center-back Kamal Miller revealed the harsh reality of MLS‘ intra-league transfers in his move from Inter Miami to Portland Timbers last month.
Miller is set to play for his fourth MLS club but the first that plays in the Western Conference. Prior to the trade, Miller featured for the likes of CF Montreal in his home country, Orlando City and Miami early on last season where he lined up alongside Lionel Messi as he lifted the 2023 Leagues Cup title.
But Miami, who were unable to mount a late playoff charge in the back-end of the 2023 season, opted to trade the 26-year-old to Portland in exchange for up to $775k in General Allocation Money (GAM), an international roster spot and a sell-on percentage.
“It was a whirlwind of emotions. Obviously, when you first hear the news, there’s that initial shock factor and just coming to terms with it,” Miller said of his reaction upon being traded in an exclusive interview with 90min.
“But it’s been going on two weeks now, something like that, since I’ve been officially a Timbers player, and I couldn’t be more happy. I’m very excited to get down there and play for this amazing fanbase, Timbers Army, and play in Providence Park.”
Miller noted that his experience so far at Portland has had more of a ‘family vibe,’ especially since he’s reunited with former head coach Phil Neville.
“Everyone at the club so far – from teammates to doctors, trainers, coaches, the front office, GM- everyone has been so welcoming and it really feels like more of like a family vibe if I could say, and I’m excited to be part of that,” he said.
The Scarborough, Ontario, Canada native revealed how different transfers are conducted in Major League Soccer, as it’s not as straightforward as you may think. In most leagues, a player has to agree to a move in order for the transfer to proceed.
However, in MLS, as long as a player is under contract, said player could be traded to another MLS club without being asked first – as Miller himself has been traded to three teams within the league.
“They [trades] happen often,” said Miller. “They happen randomly. So yeah, you just really have to be prepared for every moment. At the end of the day, it’s [an] American league, so business is business. [You] can’t get too attached. But overall, I ended up in such a great place.
“Every time I was traded, I felt like it was…