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South Jersey native records clean sheet in start for Seattle Sounders

Tyler Miller earned just his third-career first-team start with the Sounders in a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday

MLS: Western Conference Championship-Seattle Sounders at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

An injury to Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei paved the way for Woodbury, N.J., native Tyler Miller to get his first taste of the postseason with the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old Bishop Eustace grad didn’t disappoint, making three saves to record a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Western Conference finals.

Miller, who had three clean sheets in 22 appearances for Seattle Sounders 2 in USL this season, only found out Sunday that he would be starting when Frei suffered a right hamstring strain in training.

“At any moment you have to be ready and this was my moment and I felt like I was prepared for the game and I went out there and had a solid performance,” Miller said in a post-game interview.

The start was just his third career for the Sounders first team and the first since he conceded three goals in a 4-3 win against D.C. United in July. He made his MLS debut in March 2016 in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake.

“Leading up to this game I was kind of embracing every emotion that came with, the nerves, the anxiousness, the excitement I was really just trying to let it all soak in and really enjoy the moment,” Miller said.

Some early touches and an 11th minute goal from Gustav Svensson helped Miller settle into a game where he was never really tested and Will Bruin doubled the lead in the 42nd minute, giving the Sounders a 2-0 lead on aggregate and two away goals for the return leg home.

Frei is expected to return to the starting XI for the match on November 30.