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Inter Miami trades Canadian defender Miller to Timbers

Kamal Miller Kamal Miller - The Canadian Press

Inter Miami CF has traded Canadian international defender Kamal Miller to the Portland Timbers in exchange for US$625,000 in general allocation money and a 2024 international roster spot.

Miami could receive an additional US$150,000 in allocation money if Miller achieves certain performance metrics. Miami will also receive a cut of any future transfers of Miller outside of MLS.

The move reunites Miller with coach Phil Neville, who was fired by Miami in June and hired by Portland in November and who briefly served as an assistant coach with Canada under John Herdman.

"Kamal was our No. 1 target when I first got to Portland," Neville said in a statement. "He brings great quality and experience being a regular for Canada, having played at a top level in the World Cup and being one of the top centre backs in the league.

“Kamal is a winner that provides us with character and personality and will help us get stronger in the backline. Can’t wait to get working with him again, having worked with him at both Miami and Canada.”

Portland (11-13-10) ranked 27th in the league on defence last season, conceding 1.71 goals a game on average. Only Toronto FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy gave up more goals.

"Strengthening our defensive group this off-season was a priority," Timbers general manager Ned Grabavoy said in a statement. "Kamal provides us a great player, competitor and flexibility along our backline."

Miller has spent the last five seasons playing for Orlando City, CF Montreal and Miami, making 110 regular-season appearances including 102 starts.

The 26-year-old from Toronto joined Miami in an April trade from Montreal that was followed by a contract extension through the 2026 MLS season, with an option for 2027. The deal saw midfielder Bryce Duke and Costa Rican international forward Ariel Lassiter go to Montreal, with Miami also collecting up to US$1.3 million in general allocation money.

The move reunited him with his Florida-based girlfriend Sheridan Street, whom he met at Syracuse University where both played soccer. On the pitch, he lined up alongside an all-star cast that included Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

Miller made 35 appearances for Miami, including seven starts en route to the Leagues Cup.

"We would like to thank Kamal for his contributions as an Inter Miami player on and off the pitch, including helping us win our first-ever title, and wish him all the best in his future,” Chris Henderson, Miami's chief soccer officer and sporting director, said in a statement. “This trade allows us to continue positioning ourselves positively as we aim to further strengthen our squad with our sights set on more titles next season.”

Miller made US$420,00 last season, according to the MLS Players Association.

Miller has won 41 caps for Canada, including 37 starts, and was part of Herdman's roster at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The defender was taken in the second round (27th overall) by Orlando City in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Austin FC then selected Miller in the 2020 expansion draft, flipping him to Montreal for up to US$275,000 in general allocation money and a 2021 first-round draft pick (which turned out to be defender Frederik Kleemann, now with the USL Championship's Tampa Bay Rowdies).


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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2024.