Roy Miller, the longest-tenured Red Bull in the current squad, is just the eleventh player in the history of the New York Red Bulls to have played 10,000 competitive minutes (in all competitions) for the team.
Didn't notice the landmark? Don't feel bad: he reached it toward the end of RBNY's home game against D.C. United on September 10th. You remember that match: everyone was preoccupied with finding some way, any way, to put the ball past Bill Hamid.
Lloyd Sam scored the winner, the team took triumph and relief back to the locker room. Maybe there was time for a sip of champagne or three cheers for Miller - but then he hopped a flight to LA to go help his country win Copa Centroamericana.
It has been that sort of year for Roy Miller: pulled hither and thither by club and country.
For Los Ticos, he's been to Brazil and a World Cup quarterfinal (injury robbed him of the chance to play in that game, but he did start against England in Costa Rica's last group stage match). He won the second Central American championship of his career (he was also part of Los Ticos' 2005 CCA-winning squad) in September, and picked up his 50th cap along the way.
And every time he leaves RBNY, he's sorely missed. Though the silver lining in the cloud of his repeated absence from the Red Bulls' lineup is the emergence of Ambroise Oyongo - a player who might not have got the chance to prove himself were it not for Miller's international call-ups...and Bobby Convey's failure to be an adequate replacement...and Jonny Steele's decision to head to Australia rather than play second fiddle to Bobby Convey...OK - maybe the circumstances that put Oyongo on the field aren't entirely down to Miller.
Still, he is an important part of the first team and a crucial part of Mike Petke's effort to salvage the 2014 season. This is an impressive turn around for a man who was sent packing to Costa Rica to join an international training camp that hadn't yet started last March.
No one wanted him back then. But this is not a time to dwell on past mistakes. Suffice it to say, Miller was once very much down and on the outs with the team, almost slipped away during the last off-season (if rumors are to be believed), but has bounced back.
When he hasn't been required to help Costa Rica , Miller has been racing past statistical milestones for his club. He has made his 100th start for the club and his 100th start in MLS this season. He is currently joint 12th on the all-time, all-competitions appearances list for RBNY (tied with Thierry Henry), and his 115 regular season appearances puts him 11th overall on the team's league appearances chart.
His most recent league start - against Seattle Sounders - was his 105th, tying him with Tab Ramos for ninth place on the all-time regular season starts list. It was also the game in which he celebrated his recently acquired membership of RBNY's 10K club with one of the better assists of his career as a Red Bull:
Is there a player in the league who has turned around his reputation more comprehensively than Miller has in the time between March 2013 and September 2014? He ought to be MLS's Comeback Player of the Year.
Roy Miller may or may not be back with RBNY next year: it is wise not to presume too much about the ability of this club's front office to hang on to players. He turns 30 in November; he still has a few seasons in him, not least because when his legs start to fade, he can shift from rampaging full back to center back. If the Red Bulls want him - and they should - he can do a job for this team for a few years yet.
But even if he never plays another minute for RBNY, Miller is irrevocably carved into this team's history. He's been attached to this club for five seasons now, and his longevity is a remarkable achievement given the Red Bulls' slash-and-burn mentality when it comes to roster building.
He was in the team that started RBNY's first ever competitive game at Red Bull Arena. He was in the squad that won the Supporters' Shield.
And now he's stepped up to complete a full team of players that have logged 10,000 competitive minutes for this club.
As the eleventh player, he completes a pretty good team, albeit one that might be forced into a rather awkward formation: Mike Petke, Dane Richards, Carlos Mendes, Steve Jolley, Tony Meola, Seth Stammler, Jeff Parke, Thierry Henry, Tab Ramos and Amado Guevara.
And Roy Miller.
Well done, Roy!
Dax McCarty is currently 169 minutes away from the same landmark, but Miller should now focus his attention on the next milestone: 11,000 competitive minutes in all competitions.
Thierry Henry can become just the eighth player to reach that mark before the end of the regular season - he's only 290 minutes short. Miller is 900 minutes away from 11,000, which is 10 games worth of time. There are only five matches left in RBNY's regular season.
Sure, Miller could wait until next year to get his 11,000th minute, but there's a much better way to reach the mark: rack up the missing five games worth of time in this year's playoffs.
Congrats on joining the 10K club, Roy. Why not really make this a year to remember and get yourself another 900 minutes on the field before the season is up?