Tyler Miller's Impact On LAFC Goes Beyond The Pitch

Tyler Miller’s LAFC story is one of firsts.

The first selection by LAFC in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft. The Club’s first No. 1. In the first match in LAFC history, Miller registered the first save, first shutout, and first win in Club history.

For a goalkeeper with just two starts to his name, Miller was nothing short of spectacular in the first match in Seattle. The goalkeeper ended the day with seven saves, all of them pivotal in preserving LAFC’s 1-0 victory. 

Miller was named to the MLS Team of the Week after the Seattle match - another first for LAFC. He’d go on to shutout his former team once again as LAFC played its first competitive match at Banc of California Stadium.

In two seasons with LAFC, Miller was Top 5 in MLS in clean sheets (twice), save percentage (2019), and goals against per 90 minutes (2019). He earned his first call-up to the senior U.S. national team while playing for LAFC and was a member of the USMNT’s Gold Cup squad.

But with all due respect to his contributions on the pitch, none compare to his work in the community.

Miller was a champion in the fight against Cancer. Days after he arrived at LAFC, he shared the story of his sister-in-law’s battle with the disease. The GoFundMe campaign he created to help with her medical expenses received donations from teammates, past and present, and the LAFC community. In less than two weeks, the campaign raised doubled its original goal.

The fight didn't end there for Miller. In his time with LAFC, the goalkeeper continued to his work to support those battling cancer. He teamed with the Austen Everett Foundation and LAFC to host the Tyler Miller Beach Soccer Fundraiser in 2018 and 2019. LAFC players, fans, and families came together for the event in Santa Monica, dedicating their time and money to help give hope to kids fighting cancer.

Miller also worked with Kaiser Permanente as part of the MLS #KickChildhoodCancer campaign to surprise patients in the pediatric oncology ward with visits. He shared high fives and spent time sitting with kids and their families, even bringing LAFC swag with him as gifts. 

Talking to him after the visits, the impact on the goalkeeper was noticeable.

“This is just the beginning for me. I’ve been a big philanthropic advocate over the years” Miller said one visit. “Having the opportunity when I moved to LA to host my fundraiser for the Austen Everett Foundation and now going to visit Kaiser Permanente to see these kids and see what they are going through, share their stories, and be able to just smile and laugh and bring presents to them, that means a lot to me. So, I am really excited for the future.

“I want every kid to have that feeling of pure joy or laughter. It’s why it’s so important for myself, my teammates, and other LA athletes, to go visit kids like this. Being there for five or 10 minutes means the world to them.”

Here from the start, Miller's time in Black & Gold has come to an end on the pitch. He'll be remembered for the firsts and his game-saving moments. But it's his impact as a force for good in the LA community will leave the biggest mark.

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