RANGERS travelled home through the night last night after ten days in Charleston, South Carolina in America.
Throughout the history of the club, the Light Blues have travelled to America on many different occasions and across the next couple of weeks, we are going to be remembering those trips across the pond in a series of articles.
RANGERS travelled to Florida in January 2001 and took on Miami Fusion in a game that saw Kenny Miller come to the fore.
The 21-year-old scored two in each half to finally put a positive on the tour of Florida which had led to injury problems for several Gers stars.
Gers manager Dick Advocaat was left frustrated as other strikers Tore Andre Flo and Billy Dodds picked up injuries.
With Flo and Ronald de Boer injured, it gave Miller his chance to claim a starting spot as he partnered Michael Mols up front.
The Rangers fans turned up in numbers to boost the crowd to around 3,000 and it only took them until the third minute to get on their feet when Miller put them ahead with a fluke goal.
Neil McCann’s cross from the left was headed back across by Dutch full back Fernando Ricksen to Mols and his shot deflected off Miller past Nick Rimando in the Fusion goal.
Lorenzo Amoruso almost gifted the Americans an equaliser when he was short with a pass back but Stefan Klos was quick off his line to block Andy Williams’ shot.
That mistake and chance spurred the Light Blues into action and after 22 minutes they doubled their advantage with Miller on target yet again.
Mols was the provider as he robbed Jeff Bilyk on the edge of the box and fed Miller who blasted home from 12 yards.
Miami, managed Englishman Ray Hudson got themselves back into the game on 27 minutes when Williams slammed home from close range.
Advocaat made seven changes at the interval – Ricksen, Konterman, Amoruso, McCann, Mols, Arthur Numan and Barry Ferguson were replaced by Allan Johnston, Andrei Kanchelskis, Tugay, Sergio Porrini, Tony Vidmar, Scott Wilson, and de Boer.
Miller, who had been signed from Hibs grabbed his hat trick in the 57th minute when he was put through one on one after a clever Johnston through-ball.
The keeper blocked his first effort but Miller followed it up to tap it home from three yards.
The outstanding Miller grabbed his fourth of the match in the 86th minute as he slammed the ball in from six yards after a low cross from Albertz who was in top form.
Speaking after the match, four goal Miller said: “Michael definitely got the first one, it wasn’t mine. But I’ve got to try and use the games to push myself.
He said : “With Tore going over on his ankle and Billy Dodds struggling with a calf muscle, it puts me up the pecking order.
“I just had to go and play well in the two games here and hopefully that will put me in the manager’s plans.
“The manager felt I should have gone round the keeper for the second goal. He actually had told me before the game to relax and not rush things when I had a chance.
“That’s what he said before and he said it again afterwards.”