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With transfer deadline approaching, Loons goalkeeper Tyler Miller wants to play

Miller began the 2022 season as the Loons’ starter, allowing one goal apiece in a pair 1-1 draws into early March, but the 29-year-old New Jersey native fell ill before the third match and hasn’t played in MLS in nearly five months.

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Minnesota United goalkeeper Tyler Miller corrals a LA Galaxy kick in a game Sept. 18, 2021, at Allianz Field in St. Paul. Miller has been mentioned as a possible candidate for a trade.
John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press file photo
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ST. PAUL -- Exactly one week remains before the MLS summer transfer window closes, and as of Thursday, goalkeeper Tyler Miller is still a member of Minnesota United.

Miller began the 2022 season as the Loons’ starter, allowing one goal apiece in a pair 1-1 draws into early March, but the 29-year-old New Jersey native fell ill before the third match and hasn’t played in MLS in nearly five months.

Backup Dayne St. Clair’s shot-stopping carried Minnesota in the season’s third game, a 1-0 road win over New York Red Bulls, and he earned MLS Player of the Week honors. The 25-year-old Canadian has put together a body of work across 20 games that earned him a roster spot for the MLS All-Star Game in St. Paul on Aug. 10.

After that abrupt shift, Miller spoke to the Pioneer Press on Thursday about his current situation and what the future might hold.

“I do want to find an opportunity to play in the next week, wherever that is,” Miller shared.

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The Loons have been open to trade offers, but it is understood the club is willing to keep Miller until it gets an offer the team feels is fair.

Miller, who was acquired in a trade from Los Angeles FC for $200,000 in allocation money before the 2020 season, has a contract end after this season, but there is a club option for 2023.

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Without him, the Loons are clinging to one of the final playoff spots with two games remaining.
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With Minnesota’s playoff positioning slipping in three straight scoreless losses, a goal and a point will be precious. But they lost points from a winning position at home.
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After a slow start, the Loons ascended to be one of the league’s best through late August, netting 26 out of the next 33 points during that stretch.
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Matt Navratil, a 26-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota, is a diehard Loons fan and a season-ticket holder who travels with his parents, Scott and Chris, to a few road games each season.
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The Loons dealt with a steady stream of pressure, but made the most of their few opportunities to take all three points on the road.
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One of Dayne St. Clair’s first soccer memories is from roughly 20 years ago with him juggling a plastic balloon at his grandmother’s home in the Toronto area. The young Canadian wasn’t yet good enough with his feet to keep a heavier soccer ball aloft; he needed an inflatable orb that would hang in the air a bit longer.
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After signing a 2½-year contract with MNUFC through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025, the 28-year-old Paraguayan has played in three games — an international friendly versus Everton, plus coming off the bench in two MLS games, wins over Houston and Portland.
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Minnesota United is 6-2-0 this season when he has a goal or assist, including four wins amid their current six-game unbeaten streak.

“There is a possibility I will be a free player, and I know that is attractive to a lot of teams around the league, when they can get me for free,” Miller said. “It really depends on what price Minnesota is asking for me. I’m not fully aware of that, so we’ll have to see if they are offering me at a reasonable price or not and we will go from there.”

One goalkeeping domino on the MLS trading block reportedly fell on Thursday, with Real Salt Lake agreeing to trade David Ochoa to D.C. United for an undisclosed amount of allocation money, per the Washington Post. The 21-year-old Mexican international had a falling out in Salt Lake, not appearing in a game this season, and is in the last year of his contract.

The Post said D.C. would look to sign Ochoa to a new contract and would pay a portion of allocation money to RSL right away. A larger amount would go to RSL if a new contract is signed in D.C. No dollar figures were immediately shared.

A few teams have been interested in Miller previously, including D.C., the Pioneer Press learned this week. It’s unclear who the other potential suitors might be.

Miller is receiving $445,000 in guaranteed compensation in 2022, per the MLS Players’ Association. In November, St. Clair signed a new three-year contract with MNUFC, with a club option for 2025. His salary is $321,000 this year, per MLSPA.

Similar to the way Miller suddenly found himself out of the Loons’ starting lineup in early March, the eight-year professional knows things can change quickly.

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“Injuries, a bad run of form — all that stuff,” he said. “So I just focus on myself and help my guys in the best manner that I can. Be professional, show up and do my job.”

Miller expressed support for St. Clair and MNUFC.

“I’m happy for Dayne,” Miller said. “He’s had a good season so far. We have (12) games left and we are in third place (in the Western Conference), so the team has really stepped it up.”

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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