Brandon Kristopher Miller
Company: Charlotte Independence
Position: Professional Soccer Player
Maximum Soccer, Owner
Prime Focus Goalkeeping, Owner
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
Since 1999, roughly 20 years with a bit of a gap between college and playing soccer professionally in other cities. I recently moved back to play for the Charlotte Independence in early 2018.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
I am a professional soccer player and entrepreneur. I was born in Toledo, Ohio and moved to Charlotte in 1999 with my mother and sister after my father passed away. I grew up playing soccer from a young age a quickly began to excel at the sport. I played collegiately at the University of North Carolina Wilmington for 3.5 years where I graduated cum laude with a degree in business administration. After graduating, I signed my first professional contract with the Rochester Rhinos, and I’ve spent the past 8 years playing professionally throughout the United States. During my time playing professionally, I’ve won a USL championship as well as being named League Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team All-League, and team MVP.
During my time in professional soccer, I’ve been able to use my platform to engage with my community as well. I spent four years in Rochester, I worked with a community soccer programs called “GOALS” which worked with families of kids with disabilities to give them the opportunity to engage and play soccer with other players and families in the area. We also spent time volunteering at “Camp Good Days” which is an overnight camp for children with terminal illnesses. Most recently, in Charlotte, I worked with the TOP Soccer program to provide after school soccer provides for lower income elementary school kids at various schools throughout the Charlotte area. I also sponsored a 2nd grade student at Nations Ford Elementary School for the 2018/19 school year which was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had so far.
Along with playing soccer and volunteering, I also run multiple businesses. My first business, Prime Focus Goalkeeping, I started in the fall of 2016. Prime Focus Goalkeeping is a goalkeeper-specific soccer brand dedicated to bringing professional quality gloves and apparel to goalkeepers of all ages. Not only do we sell gloves and apparel, but we provide educational and motivational content via our blog posts, YouTube channel, and podcast (The Last Line: Soccer Podcast). Our brand has also been able to donate to various charities both in Charlotte and abroad like The Henry Kalungi Foundation and One Seven Ministries. I started my second business in December 2018 in Fort Mill, South Carolina. My business partner and I had a vision of providing youth soccer players a high-level indoor training facility where they can develop their skills under the tutelage of professional soccer players and high-level coaches. The name of our business is Maximum Soccer and we are currently growing throughout the Charlotte and Fort Mill/Rock Hill area.
My family is very important to me which is one of the reasons I decided to move back to Charlotte after spending 6 years moving around the United States to follow my professional soccer dreams. My mother is a former local business owner who resides in Waxhaw and my sister is a Graphic Designer at a local private school. It is important for me to be closer to them not only to give them a chance to see me play in person but also to spend more time with them when I can. I grew up in Charlotte, going to a few different schools in the South Charlotte area, and my roots are the reason I came home. I wanted to play soccer for my hometown club and establish myself in the city as both a businessman and philanthropist. My goal is to impact the youth so they can understand the mistakes I’ve made throughout my life and hopefully have a better path to success. I use my platform as a professional soccer player, my businesses, and my volunteer work to inspire and motivate the next generation. I am very thankful for the nomination and I would love to be a part of Charlotte’s Top 30 Under 30 for 2019!
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
During my time sponsoring my buddy, Jenrry, at Nations Ford Elementary it brought about plenty of memorable moments but the most memorable was my time spent with him and his best friends during lunches at the school. To see the smiles on their faces and how happy they were to simply spend time with me and show me what they like to do for fun on the playground; it made my day. It made me realize how impactful I can be by simply showing up. The couple of hours I spent with them really put into perspective the needs of a lot of youth around the area and helped me understand what role I can play in their lives.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY? PLEASE BE AS DETAILED AS YOU CAN.
I contribute to the community in a variety of ways. My main job as a professional soccer player automatically puts me in the position of a role model for many youth soccer players around the area. Many of our young fans come to our games and look up to the players who they one day want to emulate so I do my best to be a positive role model for all the young players. I’ve gotten to know plenty of fans and their families and serve as a mentor for many youth players that I work with. Our team also gives us opportunities to volunteer in the community as various appearances and events such as the Hemby Children’s Hospital or local Coerver children’s clinics. I also use my businesses to contribute to local charities as well as providing services and jobs. Prime Focus Goalkeeping has donated gloves, balls, and equipment to the local One Seven Ministries to help them continue their amazing work with underprivileged local youth soccer players. Maximum Soccer provides jobs and coaching training to multiple youth soccer coaches and players to give them a platform to further their coaching careers. Our facility also provides soccer players in North and South Carolina with an environment of development and positivity that will hopefully spur them on to greater achievement both on and off the soccer field.
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
• 2015 USL Champion
• 2015 USL Goalkeeper of the Year
• 2015 First Team All-USL
• 2017 Team MVP (Harrisburg City Islanders)
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
Outside of playing and coaching soccer, I like to do puzzles with my girlfriend at home. I spend time with my friends playing basketball or trying out the latest breweries in the area. I am a bit of a foodie, so I like to check out the newest restaurants in the area. I don’t have a lot of free time so when I do get some, I like to have a nice date night with my lady.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
“By Any Means Necessary” – Malcolm X. This quote has a bit of a different meaning for me. I apply it to a lot of different aspects of my life. Sometimes I may not feel like getting up at 5 am to go to the gym before practice but I know that’s what I need to do to be at my best as a professional soccer player. Being the best soccer player, I can be “by any means necessary”. My days tend to be hectic and things pop up that I don’t plan for, but I have to get them done “by any means necessary”. I don’t always have the energy I need when I get home, but I have to get things done around the house “by any means necessary”. It’s always been a quote that stood out to me and has driven me to be successful.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
In five years, I see myself playing in front of a packed house at Memorial Stadium in uptown Charlotte for the Charlotte Independence. I will be running one of the largest indoor soccer facilities in Charlotte catering to all of a youth soccer players’ need. I will have just come back from my second trip to Africa with my family and the Henry Kalungi Foundation where we were able to finish building the first of many schools planned in the Uganda area. I will have a family full of children and great Danes and a loving wife who supports my soccer and entrepreneurial ambitions. In 10 year, I will be retired from playing soccer but still heavily involved in the soccer scene in Charlotte; hopefully with the MLS team coming to the area. My family will be secure, and we will be continuing to grow our footprint on the business and philanthropist scene in the Charlotte area.
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Most of my bucket list is filled with places I want to travel. I want to experience the beauty of this world beyond the United States and my number one place to visit right now is Africa. I want to see all the different places on this amazing continent and really connect with the people there.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
The last time I used my passport was a couple months ago when we traveled to Ottawa for a game. We spent a couple days in Ottawa exploring the city as well as playing the professional team there.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I know how to play the trombone. I used to be pretty good at it back in middle school, but I didn’t stick with it. I haven’t done it in a while, but I think I am still capable of a few good notes.
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
My mother is and will always be my hero. It sounds cliché but she is the first and only person I ever think of when I hear this question. She lost the love of her life (my father) in a tragic car accident and was forced to raise two kids on her own. Being a single mother isn’t easy, but my sister and I never wanted for anything growing up. I played youth soccer from the age of 5 and I never missed a game or went without the equipment I needed (youth soccer is EXPENSIVE). She did all of this on her own and without ever complaining. Her life hasn’t gone the way she wanted or expected it to, but she is still the most amazing person both inside and out and her smile lights up a room wherever she goes. My goal in life is to make her proud and anything after that is simply a bonus.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
“Outliers” – Malcolm Gladwell
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
My girlfriend and I went to see the Lion King recently.
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?
We went to see Miguel at the Music Factory in early 2019.