Tenure is important at a club.
A player that has it generally is one of quality and shows he’s adaptable to different coaches and systems.
With Thierry Henry leaving in the offseason, the only Red Bulls player remaining from 2010 is left back Roy Miller, who wears his 119 appearances for the club as a badge of honor.
“It’s something I’m proud of,” Miller told NewYorkRedBulls.com. “It’s not easy because every year you see players come and go. I’m thankful to the Red Bulls for keeping me in the team and I’m glad Jesse [Marsch] wants me in the team.”
As one of the top left backs in Major League Soccer, perhaps the Costa Rican international’s tenure in New York isn’t surprising, though Marsch will be the third coach Miller has played for at the club.
Asked about how he’s adjusting to the differences in Marsch’s up-tempo style, the 30-year-old defender was positive about the new manager and his system.
“From the first days we understood what he wanted to do. Comparing from the last year, it’s a little different. He wants the team pressing, playing fast and I like that.
“We’ve only had two weeks and we need to keep learning and gaining our fitness – if that’s the way we’re going to play we have to be conditioned for it. From the beginning we like Jesse, we have to do our best in the system.”
As part of the Costa Rica squad that went on a Cinderella run to the World Cup quarterfinals last year, Miller knows well about learning and buying into a system. Los Ticos manager Jorge Luis Pinto implemented a tricky and by modern standards, somewhat unorthodox 5-3-2 formation in the tournament, which saw Costa Rica finish atop a group featuring former World Cup champions Uruguay, Italy and England.
Miller featured as the left center back in the team’s group clinching 0-0 draw vs. England on June 24.
“The team bought into that setup and you saw the results. For me it’s the greatest experience I had in my whole life. You do your best to represent your country and I got to do it with my friends.
“The experience was fantastic. We surprised everyone and we’ll never forget it.”
As the longest tenured player on the side and the only player on the current roster with World Cup experience, Miller seems to stick out as part of the group of veterans Marsch will look to for collective leadership of the side this season.
If that’s a role the manager wants him to play, Miller says he’s more than happy to do it.
“There’ll be a captain but it’ll be up to us to support him and lead in different ways. I know I’m a part of that and I’m happy to be.”