Some fans travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to support their NASL team, while others create a partisan atmosphere to inspire their heroes in the home stadium.
But for Dal Miller, traveling to either home or away games is not an option, so he roots for FC Edmonton well into the wee hours of the morning in his native Scotland, glued to his computer screen.
Dal has been recognized as the NASL Fan of the Week and if his name sounds familiar, that is because he is the older brother of Eddie coach Colin Miller.
“The home games are brilliant because they start at 9 o’clock my time on Sunday, which is ideal for me,” explained Miller. “When Colin told me the times I was delighted. I think 12.30 was the latest start, but the others have been around midnight, other than the game away to the Whitecaps, which kicked off at quarter to three in the morning!
“I’ve been very impressed in that watching games, I’m getting every one and it’s a great picture and I’ve been very surprised as to how good the teams are. You couldn’t really tell which the MLS team was in the Amway Championship game.
“I used to be up until 3am when Colin was with the Whitecaps, but sometimes you could only listen and couldn’t see all the games like I can now with the NASL.”
Born in Scotland, the Miller brothers moved to Canada in 1975 and as young soccer fans, used to go with their Dad to watch the Whitecaps, as they beat the New York Cosmos in the NASL playoff semi finals after a mini game and then against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in Soccer Bowl. Dal, the older brother, almost made the grade with his local NASL team.
“I was with the Whitecaps reserves over there,” he recalled. “You had to graduate from high school before you could play with anyone and at that time (former Leeds and Northern Ireland star) Johnny Giles was the manager. At one stage there was an under-18 tournament and I played the games of my life and it was between me up front and a big tall center half from Calgary as to who they were going to pick and they ended up taking him, so it wasn’t meant to be.
“I moved back over to Scotland before Colin and then he came home and signed for Rangers. For a guy from our village to play for Rangers was a big deal. When he came to the house after he’d signed for them, there was a line of kids there to get his autograph.”
Miller believes his brother’s FC Edmonton team will continue to improve, having won and drawn in their last two games. This week they take on the Atlanta Silverbacks at 4pm ET on Sunday.
“They haven’t had much luck so far,” he added. “When they won 1-0 it was probably the worst they’d played, but they got the result in their first home game. They could and should have won in Tampa and the post has denied them a couple of times.
“They just need a break in front of goal. They’re building and they’re a young team. They just need to score some goals. I’m biased, but I think Colin will do well there. To say I’m proud of him is an understatement.”
“I would love to just show up one home game and not tell Colin, but right now its not going to happen because its too expensive to travel.”
So for now, Dal Miller will settle for watching in the early hours of the morning via the NASL Ustream broadcast, cheering fervently for the Eddies.
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