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Marsch, Red Bulls begrudgingly accept Miazga’s U.S. U-23s call-up


Photo by Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports


The New York Red Bulls have witnessed that ongoing successes of Matt Miazga this season, but now the club will have to navigate through the negatives that come with the centerback’s growing reputation.

Miazga was one of 20 players called in for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team’s upcoming Olympic qualifiers, which are set to take place from Oct. 1-13. As a result, Miazga will miss up to three games for New York, including crucial clashes with fellow playoff contenders in the Columbus Crew and Montreal Impact.

A stalwart in the Red Bulls’ defense, Miazga has made 22 starts for the club this season despite previously missing time in June due to the Under-20 World Cup.

“There was a lot of discussion. We wish that U.S. Soccer would have shown a bit more flexibility,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said regarding Miazga’s call-up.” They didn’t, which meant that we had to make a decision on whether to let him go or not. We decided to let him go because we felt that this was an important decision for him and we knew he was excited about the opportunity as well.

“It’s not easy to lose him, but we’re healthier now at that spot so we’re a little bit deeper and have more guys that know what the game will be like. It won’t be easy to lose Matt, but specifically Ronald (Zubar) will be ready to step in.”

Zubar’s health comes at a vital time for the Red Bulls. Heralded as one of the club’s key signings this past offseason, Zubar has fought various injuries throughout the season. Making just four starts all season, the Frenchman has been limited in his ability to contribute.

Zubar, however, does appear to be rounding into form as the season reaches the homestretch. Subbed on in the past three games, Zubar could play a vital role for the Red Bulls going forward, as the club looks to turn its already-clinched playoff berth into a potential Supporters’ Shield run.

“I think he’s as healthy as he’s been,” Marsch said. “He’s fit. He’s strong. He even had a little incident today, but because he’s fit and strong, there was no issue. I think he’ll be ready to go.”


  1. poor red bulls. it’s just not fair that they’re the only team who have lost a player to international callups. do something, don garber!

  2. yep. foolish refusal. msl did it to themselves, while the endlessly ngle for any pr related to intl stars like kaka, lampard, villa, drogba, giovinco who all starred for their natl teams
    msl can deal with it after all theyre a “top 10 legue”

  3. I understand your point gentlemen. It may have been the wrong debate topic to make my point which is the head coach has alienated a lot of people from youth, college, and professional soccer in this country.

    • Sepp,

      Is that a good or a bad thing?

      Did some of these people need to be alienated?

      It seems to me before JK was hired an awful lot of people made many of the same criticisms of the “US soccer system ” for lack of a better term, that JK did after he was hired.

      JK was hired to do more than coach the team. He was hired to shake things up.
      He was just the kind of hard headed guy, who does not care what anyone thinks of him, to do that and not be phased by the inevitable criticism. If he wanted to, he could walk away from this job tomorrow. He doesn’t need this job, he wants to do it.

      If the USSF had been okay with the status quo then they would have stayed with Bob who was an excellent manager.

      And if the fans, such as those on SBI, were okay with that they would not have heralded JK’s hiring with such fanfare. Remember, when he was fired, BB was a very unpopular guy with the SBI “elite fans”. Now of course they say they weren’t the ones who hated BB for wearing track suits and playing Bornstein and Mikey so much. And unlike Clint who stuck up for Bob when he got his, Landon refused to say anything nice about him.

      BB was not popular with the fans or with LD. Not good for him.

      Sepp, you claim to be a USSF version of Edward Snowden, an insider who knows where all the bodies are buried and so on. None of us know whether that is true or not, unless you provide us with a lot more verifiable facts, names and places and so on.
      No offense but you could be 16 and living in your Mom’s basement in Khazakstan, Juarez or Kuala Lumpur. Or you could be Eugene Starikov or Preston Zimmerman and mad that you weren’t given a shot at the USMNT.

      I don’t have your alleged insider status. I have the same access as everyone else on SBI.
      So my perspective is simply that of a long time USMNT fan.
      And from that perspective I agree with Herc Gomez, who when asked to comment on THAT Brian Strauss article laughed and said something to the effect that it was all good that now the media was finally getting as interested in soccer as they were in other sports.

      When I watch all the sports shows now whether its FOX, ESPN, CBS or NBC or whoever they all have soccer highlights and they are not presented self consciously as if they were forced on the sportscasters. You never saw that 5 years ago.

      And the access to viewing soccer games, from what ever league or wherever in the world you care to talk about, is a quantum level different from just 5 years ago.

      The point is, all this tells me that the game is going through a big transition at all levels in this country. It is obvious now that this transition was going to happen regardless of whether they hired JK or not. After all, the USWNT played maybe a bigger role than the USMNT in that transition.

      Rather, his hiring was a just a part of it. His hiring instantly raised the USMNT profile around the soccer world, dramatically. I think that was what the USSF wanted.

      I’m not an alleged “inside expert” like you but I do know that when you have this level of transition you are always going to get unhappy people. Whether the unhappy ones are the good guys or not I don’t know.

      More likely it is a little of both and we will all have to wait a while to see how this all turns out.

      In other words looking to blame JK for all the unhappy people in the “US Soccer system” seems pretty unrealistic.

      This transition was very probably going to happen even if they had kept BB in place. And it might have been worse for your unhappy people if they had hired someone other than JK.

      • JK is terrible as a coach but I like him as technical director. We need to change our development system to get where we want to be as a soccer country.

    • You must be pretty naive if you place this on Klinsman’s doorstep entirely. This is a common club v country debate that happens to a league where the players are good enough to be international quality. The arguments the USMNT pool players are having has been going on for years (and more vociferously) in Europe. Klinsman is not the 1st to butt heads nor will he be the last.

      On a side note, MLS’s foolish refusal to obey the international calendar causes more of these problems. Although, Olympic qualification is not on the FIFA Calendar, so players are routinely held back.

  4. To be fair the first two games of the tournament are outside of the fifa break. He will miss 1 mls game that is outside of the break. So much thanks for sparing him for 1 MLS game in huge tournament for his future and the future of the US youth program.

    Yes, the Olympics are not fifa but they are a big deal. He is part of a talented group that are not ready for the USMNT but ready for the next biggest stage in Brazil next summer.

    MLS scheduled 2 other games during the break that he will miss.. tired of hearing about MLS teams complaining about quality players leaving during international breaks.

    • Actually I care less about this team than any US national team out there. This is totally contrived tournament (U-23 with three overage players) that doesn’t really prove anything. I don’t think soccer should even be in the Olympics.

  5. As frustrating at this might be for NYRB there is a HUGE potential upside to Miazga’s participation in the Olympic Qualifiers. A strong performance in qualification that sees the US Qualify for Brazil and it will raise Matt’s standing in the U-23 Player Pool. A strong performance at the Olympics and they could see a lot of offers from foreign clubs. His ability to obtain an EU passport, his young age, and strong performances with the U-23’s could be a real payday for NYRB.

      • That is exactly what they are to clubs. They a pieces to be bought and sold. Unless you actually believe soccer and sports teams in general solely exist out of the goodness of an owners heart. Which makes you terrible naive. Teams are out to make a profit. And the buying and selling of players is a part of that model.

      • aqnigrin,

        Pro players are commodities. They sell their services for money.

        Clubs will try to work things out with important players but they aren’t going to pay you a 6 figure salary to miss important games.

        Years ago MLS was not as big as it is now.

        American players were making 15-30 K a season and sleeping on couches

        Foreign based USMNT players were not missed by their clubs all that much when international duty called.

        For American players, the USMNT was king of the forest.

        These days MLS is getting bigger and bigger every cycle; more money and bigger investors are rolling in.

        More big money = more corporate mentality.

        If you want a template for how this is going to go you need only follow the rise of the big clubs in Europe and the accompanying decline in importance of some national teams. Just follow some of the club vs. country conflicts with the big clubs in Europe.

        And bear in mind that MLS’ not following the FIFA international calendar when it comes to scheduling games means they are inherently anti-national team.

        Follow a USL,NASL or NCAAA team if you want to harken back to more innocent times.

      • GW,
        “And bear in mind that MLS’ not following the FIFA international calendar when it comes to scheduling games means they are inherently anti-national team.”.

        I think most of it has to do with scheduling, I remember reading way back that MLS didn’t want to go any deeper in to the winter season of other sports.

      • Yeah it’s a matter of fitting in 34 games plus playoffs from March to early December. You can really go much later or earlier in a lot of the country. I certainly don’t want to sit in the stands at RBA in January or February!

      • In some European countries they deal with that by having winter breaks.

        How or if that would work here I don’t know.

        I was under the impression that the other reason for the schedule was the desire to avoid head to head competition with the NHL, NBA, College football and the NFL.

        All good reasons but that still leaves the USMNT at a disadvantage. I’m sure there are enough smart people there to make this better, if they want to.

        The bigger MLS gets, and the longer they wait to address things , the harder the fix will be.

      • They already compete head to head with American football and MLB playoffs. I don’t think that should be a determining factor.

        Most of Europe just doesn’t get as cold as the northern half of the US. Even in Germany. The few places that do get that cold play a calendar year season (other than Russia which just switched a year or two ago).

  6. Dumb move. I would understand if it was for the senior team, but this will do nothing for his experience quite like riding wave NYRB are having. Club is much more important. God forbid he gets injured while playing on the U-23 team.

    • Have you ever had a chance to play for your country and lead them to the Olympics? For some, that experience trumps a simple club season.

      • Hobo Mike,

        Miazga’s day job is NYRB.

        It’s not as simple as you make it sound. Do you think he can just tell NYRB: ” F++k you I’m going to play in the Olympics”?

        Should they want to NYRB can make life very difficult for Miazga if he does not value his relationship with them.

        MLS already disregards FIFA dates so you already know they really don’t care that much about the USMNT set up.

      • I have a day job and a band on the side. But if my band got a big gig you better be sure that I would try to get out of my day job for that time period to do something that doesn’t come around very often.

      • Matt,

        That is great but how would your boss feel if you did it between 5-10 times a year and missed some important projects at work because of it?

        And how would he feel if you had to miss even more work time because you got hurt while away on a gig, having been trampled by a bunch of insane fans fans seeking your autograph?

      • GW,

        I understand what you’re getting at but you can’t compare a normal 9 to 5 job with the career/job of an entertainer — in this case, an athlete.

        Coaches don’t like it but they understand that a player wants to develop and wants to grasp opportunities that don’t come around very frequently. To suggest that Miazga should stay with RBNY out of some misplaced sense of subordination to the FO as an “employee” of the organization is a bit misguided.

        In your scenario, the natural outcome would be for the “employer” (RBNY) to fire the “employee” (Miazga). Realistically, do you really think that would happen? Again, the sports industry is not your normal 9 to 5.

      • CeezNYRB

        “Coaches don’t like it but they understand that a player wants to develop and wants to grasp opportunities that don’t come around very frequently.”

        Coaches want to keep their jobs and the best way to do that is win. If Miazga is out traipsing around the world for another team that does not help Marsch’s short term future. And if his short term future is bleak his long term usually follows suit.’ Marsch is paid to look out for NYRB not the USMNT. He owes them nothing.

        “To suggest that Miazga should stay with RBNY out of some misplaced sense of subordination to the FO as an “employee” of the organization is a bit misguided.”

        Misplaced? Are you saying Miazga is not an NYRB employee? What makes you think that?.Does Andy Herzog sign his paychecks? It is not a sense of subordination. It is a contractual obligation. You know, NYRB pays him x amount of money so he owes them x amount of games or whatever it says in his contract..

        “In your scenario, the natural outcome would be for the “employer” (RBNY) to fire the “employee” (Miazga). Realistically, do you really think that would happen? Again, the sports industry is not your normal 9 to 5.”

        Under my scenario the logical response would be to look for another centerback, one who is as good as Miazga but unlikely to be gone as much as Miazga on international duty and therefore more reliably available than Miazga.

        Once that is done then you sell or trade Miazga and get the best deal possible. That would be my long term response. .I’ve seen that happen in other countries.

        No Miazga does not have a normal 9 to 5 job..

        However NYRB is Miazga’s real honest to goodness job. He really is an NYRB employee. They are the ones who pay him whatever meager sum they pay him to eat and put a roof over his head.
        They did not develop him and train him and all that other stuff just so that he can play for the US national team of whatever level and miss important NYRB games.

        Obviously the national team is important and NYRB want to keep their player happy. And of course, his USMNT experiences will make him a better player, a good thing for the present, and when the time comes to deal him, it makes him a better commodity.

        But the entire situation is a compromise all around .and you should never forget who is the primary here. Miazga is NYRB’s player. The USMNT just borrows him.. Unlike you I never forget that professional soccer is first and foremost a business.
        Like any player Miazga’s value is a complex equation made up pluses and minuses, which we have just discussed. At some point Miazga may become more trouble than he is worth and then NYRB will dump him.

        They have been dealing with this in Europe for a long time.

        One significant difference is that the USMNT tends to play a lot more games than many national teams and travels longer distances to do so.

        In 2015, Germany for example, is scheduled to play 11 games, all of them in Europe.

        Under JK the USMNT has averaged something like 15 games a year with some significant travel demands attached to that.

      • intl soccer is more prestigous and more important. as msl gets more intl players they have to deal with it. tough but its not like msl is champions league and hes missing an important competition

      • It won’t always be that way.

        What if the Olympic basketball tournament was scheduled so that LeBron might have to miss some NBA playoff games?

        Or worse, got hurt on US duty and then HAD to miss some playoff games for the Cavaliers?

      • True although Paul George missed almost an entire NBA season after an injury on national team duty and he says he plans to play for the US again if selected.

      • If you got the NBA and NHL owners to speak honestly, I’ll bet they would ban their guys from participating in internationals like the Olympics, if they could.

        Of course many of the players love doing it so there will always be some sort of compromise going on there.

        But it won’t be a smooth as it was in the past.

        With MLS it has been different because the USMNT and the World Cup were seen as one of the best ways to promote the game to the casual US fan.

        So anything they could do to promote the USMNT they did.

        However, as MLS grows exponentially, the USMNT becomes less and less vital to MLS.survival.

        There will come a day when MLS will see the USMNT in the same light that NBA and NHL owners see international teams like the Olympics, i.e. parasites getting fat off of THEIR players.

        Billionaire owners did not get to be billionaire owners by letting people take advantage of them

      • I’m sure NBA and NHL owners would stop players from playing in the Olympics if they could. Maybe MLS would too although it’s a little different since the USMNT (and USWNT) help grow the game here which helps MLS.

        Club v country issues are common all over the world so it’s no surprise to see them crop up here.

    • Bringing up the possibility of injury is pointless. He can get injured anywhere. He could get injured playing for the US or playing for Red Bulls or walking down the sidewalk.

      As far as deciding to release him, it sounds like by the quotes that they didn’t want to pi$$ him off by not allowing him to do something that he really wants to do.

    • Help win an Olympic medal for your country, you achieve immortality in the record books. Help win an MLS Cup for your club, you get an extra piece of cheesecake at the banquet and maybe a thousand dollar per month raise, assuming the salary cap can handle the strain, and only us soccer geeks remember your name.

      • The A-class 18-23 guys have rarely played together as a unit in a tournament: Morris (20), Gyau (23), Brooks (21), Alvarado (22), Yedlin (22), Caleb Stanko(22), Cody Cropper (22), Shane O’Neill (22), Horvath (20), Alashe (21), Pelosi (21), Will Trapp(22)

        And that does not in cldue all the guys from the U-20 cycle (including those that did not play through injury) as well as guy like Pulisic (17)

      • He’ll be gone 1 month. Olympics – 2 weeks and camp about 2/3 weeks beforehand, at most. Not to mention, the Super Copa America.A lot of teams will be missing players.

      • Hey it’s natural for a fan to be concerned with how his team will cope with the loss of a key player. My bigger issue with MLS is not taking more breaks during international windows. That wouldn’t have made a difference here but in general it would help.

        At the end of the day Miazga is being picked for the Olympics team because he’s playing well for RBNY so I’d rather have him miss a few games than play less well.

  7. It is definitely frustrating however….. certainly not unique to NYRB missing key players due to call ups. It’s a pitfall all upper level teams with upper level players face in MLS. Wouldn’t help in this case, but MLS really does need to start honoring International breaks. Not doing so adversely effects a level competition. Anyhow- kudos to RB releasing Miazga. It’s not all bad…. tough as it is, will help him in his continued development, as well as the team in reintegrating Zubar lest they need him in the last part of the season and playoffs.


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