Nor'easters Alum Steven Miller Joins Roughnecks
Globetrotting midfielder’s path to professional soccer began in Ocean City before pit stops in Montreal, Denmark, and North Carolina prepared him for a second consecutive season in the USL with Tulsa.
|Miller in action with his new club, Tulsa Roughnecks|
Ocean City, NJ – Steven Miller, a native of Elkins Park, PA, and Ocean City Alum during the 2008-09 and 2011 seasons in which he tallied 8 goals in 25 appearances, attributes the success he has found as a professional soccer player to several factors.
“My goal is always to continue to improve as a player and to employ what I have learned from my previous experiences,” explained the attacking-minded midfielder. In a span of four years Miller has gained experience in three different professional leagues on two different continents, extracting a different takeaway from each.
Of his three summers spent training and playing at The Shore, Miller explained how most PDL clubs provide the tangibles that a collegiate soccer player is looking for: the opportunity to return to the college preseason as sharp and fit as possible, but that the culture in Ocean City is rich with intangibles: “Ocean City provided me with a professional environment where I was able to train with and play against very talented players. A lot of the players in the league have aspirations of playing professionally, and playing with and against these players on a regular basis not only made me a better and more consistent player, but also reinforced my belief that I would be able to play at the next level.”
|Miller spent 3 summers in Ocean City (2008-09 & 2011)|
Miller’s #Path2Pro was kick-started by an Ocean City franchise that is among the most successful and tradition-laden in the entire Premier Development League, a testament to the environment created by the Ocean City Barons that now thrives with the Nor’easters.
In 2012, following his graduation from Colgate University where he earned NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic First Team honors during his senior season and posted 61 career points from 27 goals and 7 assists, Miller was drafted, but not signed, by the Montreal Impact.
According to the collegiate standout, his six week trial with the MLS club was one of the most influential experiences of his young career. “It’s always difficult when you don’t make a team, but I took a lot more positives than negatives away from my time with the Montreal Impact.” During his time with Montreal, Miller was forced “to think quicker, see the game faster, and be sharper on the ball.” It was trial by fire and the midfielder didn’t flinch. “During my time in Montreal, I was able to adjust to the professional game, and I feel I gained a lot of invaluable experience that has benefited me over the past couple years.”
Following training camp with the Impact and a brief stint with the Michigan Bucks of the PDL, Miller signed his first professional contract. This was no ordinary contract however, the Ocean City Alum inked a one-year deal with Jammerbugt FC of the Danish 2nd Division. As if joining a new team in a country where English is not the first language was difficult enough, Miller explained, “the biggest challenge for me, and I think it’s the same for most young Americans in Europe, was adjusting to the different style of play.”
|Miller during his time with Jammerbugt FC in Denmark|
According to Steven, “Denmark, like much of Europe, really emphasizes the technical side of the game. Every exercise in training was in tight areas, and my club really stressed the importance of maintaining possession in crowded spaces.”
Miller netted one goal in twelve matches of action for Jammerbugt FC and took-away a wealth of knowledge about adapting his style of play to his environment. “The biggest thing I learned while playing overseas was the importance of having the ability to adjust.”
With the experiences of an MLS training camp and a full season of a distinctly European style of training and gameplay in his arsenal, Miller came back to the US last year and signed with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL. Steven tallied three goals in 26 games and again watched his game develop.
“When I was in Montreal, I was forced to think and react quicker than I had in college, and when I played in Denmark, I became more of a technical player. Last year in Wilmington, I was exposed to the physical soccer of the USL, and I learned the importance of taking care of my body for the entire season.”
As the 2015 USL slate kicks-off, the newest attacking midfielder for the Tulsa Roughnecks is up for the challenge. “If I consistently incorporate what I have learned over the past few years, my game should progress and I should continue to develop as a player over the season.”
Keep up with Steven and the Roughnecks via their official twitter account @RoughnecksFC as they take on Seattle Sounders 2, tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th for an 8:00pm EST kickoff.
2015 Individual Match and Season ticket packages are on sale now. For more information, call (609) 432-8271 to speak with a Nor'easters ticket representative, email us at email@example.com, or visit www.oceancityfc.com/tickets for ticket package information.
Text "MILLER" to (609) 432-8271 to receive an exclusive promo code, for ticket purchases made online via www.oceancityfc.com/tickets.
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