By KEVIN OKLOBZIJA
Doug Miller’s exploits during the first decade of the Rochester Rhinos existence helped generate unprecedented soccer enthusiasm in the city.
The sport was so popular Rochester was coined Soccer Town, USA, even though the team played in the cramped confines of a baseball stadium.
Which is why the downtown soccer stadium was built, so they had their own home.
The funny thing: Miller never played regulation game in the stadium he figuratively built. He scored the first goal at Frontier Field, and the last — and dozens in between — but he never played for the Rhinos when they moved into their own venue in 2006.
A dozen years later, and two years into his third (or fourth) retirement, Miller will finally play at the pitch at Oak and Broad streets.
He will suit up for the Rochester Lancers’ June 30 game against the lowly Greater Binghamton FC Thunder. Game time is 5 p.m. The Thunder are 0-9 and have been outscored 54-4 in National Premier Soccer League play.
The comeback will be brief. Miller probably won’t play more than 10 or 20 minutes in the game, but Lancers founder Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo wanted him to be able to say he played in a real game at the stadium.