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Report: Matt Miazga headed to Chelsea

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports
Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports

Matt Miazga is leaving the New York Red Bulls this winter, and joining an English Premier League powerhouse that has had its eye on him for some time. reported on Wednesday that the Red Bulls are set to sell Miazga to Chelsea within the next 24 hours. The MLS club was hoping to keep the 20-year-old centerback for the 2016 season and beyond, but the fact that Miazga was entering the final year of his deal left the Red Bulls in a position to have to transfer him in order to not lose him for free at the end of the campaign.

Chelsea, which is currently under the leadership of interim manager Guus Hiddink, has had its eye on the U.S. Men’s National Team centerback for quite some time. Sources have told SBI that Chelsea was in pursuit of Miazga prior to him signing his first professional contract with the Red Bulls back in 2013.

Miazga, who has a Polish passport, is coming off a breakout 2015. He not only helped the Red Bulls capture the Supporters’ Shield as a starting defender, but also made his way from the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team to the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team to the full side coached by Jurgen Klinsmann in a matter of months.

What do you think of Miazga leaving the Red Bulls for Chelsea? How do you see him doing there? Wishing he would have stayed in MLS at least one more season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great…now if he makes the First Team I’m going to have to follow and cheer for the Chelsea scum…kidding aside, I hope he does, good luck!!

  2. Matt Miazga won’t make even Bournemouth’s bench. If Chelsea can loan out Tomáš Kalas, Kenneth Omeruo and Papy Djilobodji, who is Miazga from a developmental league that they won’t loan out in a heart beat.

  3. So besides this board and a few others, I havent seen anywhere near the praise and attention for Miazga than what Morris has received for staying in MLS in the popular media or the tiny section of the Twitterverse that I follow.

    Most of the narrative on this board and others is for our best talent to go to the best teams. Here we have this and its relatively quiet. (Regardless of the loan racket that CFC is known for.) Same with Pulisic. Two young Americans (17 & 20) playing for two clubs known for being dominant and dead quiet. A college kid (21, possibly great) signs with MLS and its national news????

    Am I missing something?

    • 1) morris has a higher profile than either miazga or pulisic with multiple senior international caps, so there’s bound to be more talk about him in any case. also, wouldn’t exactly say pulisic and miazga are “playing” for those two clubs (yet). pulisic seems close, as he’s consistently lining up in friendlies for them, but chelsea has plenty of players who likely will never even see the bench in a competitive chelsea match.

      2) it’s not big news when a promising young player leaves mls for bigger leagues–that’s seen as a natural progression. in morris’s case, he turned down a big (if struggling) club in a top league to *stay* in mls.

  4. He should have stayed in the MLS for at least another five years or so. He is WAY to young to leave. We don’t want anyone leaving before they are far along in their development (mid 20’s).

  5. Ake plays Left Back for Watford, and that’s where he projects at the pro level. Omeruo is a left/right back. This is directed at Anthony.

    • i thought he was in midfield, but that’s just according to reports i read (that i may be misremembering)–i don’t really make it a point to watch watford.

  6. its a scary thought, but what if conor Donovan is better than both matt miazga, and CCV??? we would sure be looking good at center back for the next ten to fifteen years.

  7. How many careers have been detroyed at Chelsea? It is not just that he is an American. That club is dysfunctional. They may have won EPL last year but think about how bad the league was last year. EPL is no longer the dominating league it once was. Bad move for Miazga.

  8. Americans are either too pessimistic or too optimistic when it comes to evaluating talent. Granted I know that it is a very subjective study. I think Miazga can hang in the EPL or at least compete for a spot to a certain degree, However, Chelsea is horrible because they absolutely horde players, loan a ton out and almost none of them come back to start later on. Instead, they buy players developed elsewhere. Think about it, how many Chelsea players have come through in the last 5/6 years?

    • not sure why you say chelsea is “horrible” for doing that? not a fan of any european team, so i don’t have a dog in the fight, but i don’t think the players involved mind at all, and i don’t see how it hurts them.

      if chelsea bought players just to have them on the books and *didn’t* loan them out, then i can see your point, but that’s obviously not what’s happening. unless there’s some systemic flaw here that i’m not thinking of, i just don’t see the problem with what they’re doing.

  9. Good for you Matt. With Terry and Cahill getting up there in age, perhaps we’ll see a Zouma-Miazga partnership in the not too distant future. Hope you’re getting paid, and I’m sure Klinnsman is happy given someone is listening to him.

  10. This guy is only going to get better since he’s only 20. Let’s commend the kid for taking the opportunity at hand rather than wait and wonder what if; at least he has Chelsea on the resume and that will open doors further down his career.

    How many Americans were even good enough to get interest from Chelsea, let alone bought
    by them??

    Looking forward to seeing him in the Chelsea lineup!

  11. From my perspective as a fan, I prefer this business model of developing players and selling players than signing washed up idiots like Ashley Cole.

    I have no problem with MLS being a feeder league. Some of the most exciting leagues in the world are.

    • Yeap! Frankly, MOST clubs in the world are feeder clubs. There are less than 10 clubs in the world that are not feeder/selling clubs Hell, Atletico is 3rd in Liga and is still a selling club.

  12. good for him! i did not expect this at all. i was mad when the report came out he turned down a major Italian club in hopes of getting an EPL deal. i can say i take that back. looking forward to seeing how he progresses there and i hope he can prove everyone wrong.

  13. By the way, I’d love to see a USMNT game with Jozy, Michael Bradley, Sacha K, Miazga, Tim Ream, and Tim Howard in the lineup. More than half the lineup being current or former Red Bulls / Metros!

  14. How about having a little faith in the guy. I’m sure there’s a good reason he’s been given a chance very few players ever get. Just because he’s American doesn’t mean he’ll fail.

    • Thank you. I’m so tired of this “well that’s nice but no American could ever be good to enough to pull on a Chelsea shirt” nonsense.

      • sla,

        while i wouldn’t say that miazga couldn’t *ever* play for chelsea (because that would be dumb), it’s not unreasonable to assume that he won’t play for them anytime soon.

        1) chelsea’s m.o. is to buy up prospects, loan them out, and sell them on for a profit

        2) while i think miazga is a good prospect, he’s not good enough. (i’m sure you’ve seen him play more than i have, but my opinion is that he hugely benefited from playing alongside perrinelle. as americans, we obviously would be more excited about miazga, but perrinelle was the real star.) not to say that he’s not good enough to play in the epl, but chelsea arguably has better centerbacks out on loan (christensen at gladbach), not to mention their ability to buy pretty much anyone they want.

      • Thank you Nate! I like Miazga and think he is very talented. However just on loan, I think Kalas, Christensen and Ake are all better (at this point in their development) and about 20 years old each (definitely U23). That being said, he can hang with them talent wise and belongs in top 5 talent-wise, plus he won’t be on loan this spring when everyone else so might have some chances to play given all the EPL, Champions League and FA Cup games Chelsea has left.

      • anthony,

        yeah, forgot about kalas. ake’s been playing midfield for watford, and i think that’s where he’s projected.

        and i agree that this spring may be the best time in the near future for miazga to get minutes for chelsea. hope it happens.

      • I’ve heard a few people say this but crediting Perrinelle for making Miazga just doesn’t hold up in my opinion. I watched every minute those guys played last season and Miazga was definitely the better player. By a lot. They certainly formed a good pairing. DP did well and will be missed this season but Miazga is a far bigger loss.

      • sla,

        fair enough, i’ll defer–that’s just what i saw. but as i said, i’m sure you’ve watched them a hell of a lot more than me.

      • It’s just not fair to attribute Miazga’s development and overall excellent play to Perrinelle. Perrinelle and Miazga worked well together — better than Miazga and Zubar, in my opinion — but Miazga was the better player over the course of the season. He is still a bit raw (after all, he’s only 20), but he has good instincts, great speed for a CB, and very good skills.

      • brain guy,

        “It’s just not fair to attribute Miazga’s development and overall excellent play to Perrinelle.”

        that’s a little stronger than i meant. my point was that when i watched them together, perrinelle seemed to be the clear leader of the partnership, with miazga (ably) filling in the gaps. that makes sense given their relative experience, and it’s still a tough job to do consistently throughout a whole season, especially for a 20-year-old, so i’m really not trying to take much from him.

      • But Nate, you said “[P]errinelle was the real star.” And on that I disagree. Perrinelle’s experience was surely helpful, but Miazga more than held his own.

      • brain guy,

        just because i thought he wasn’t the best player doesn’t mean he wasn’t good. to take his new team as an example: zouma is a great defender, but one of the reasons he is playing well is because he has one of the best defensive organizers in the world alongside him in john terry. zouma’s potential might well be even higher than terry’s was, but for now, terry is the real leader on that line, and zouma looks better because of it.

        anyway, pointless to debate further: i’ve already admitted that nyrb fans have seen way more of miazga than i have–was just giving reasons why i thought he wasn’t quite ready for chelsea.

  15. wow, this is a big development. good for Matt even if he is joining the pool of loanee Chelsea prospects.

    Short term: big year with national team. training at Chelsea or playing in the U21 EPL should be great prep for the Colombia games and (fingers crossed) Olympics. Long term 2017 and beyond – get playing time wherever; Chelsea or elsewhere.

    iv always been a NYRB hater, but they have turned into a very respectable organization recently. hopefully the next HGP steps right in.

  16. He can compete for the spot which is all you are entitled to as a player. The only issue I think Americans in general face is that they have shorter leashes in Europe then players of other nationalities. Fans and managers a lot quicker to throw an American under the bus than any south american or European. Matt is really good, he was arguably the best CB in the whole U20 WC. Glad he is already cap tied.

  17. While I think it’s unlikely he ever pulls on a Chelsea strip, I think there’s some sense to this move. They’ve been tracking him — so they clearly recognize his upside — and 5 mm is not an insignificant amount of money for a relatively unknown 20 year old. But it’s also likely that he’ll go out on loan and be given the opportunity to compete at a higher level. If he does well, Chelsea will have him back and he’ll be one of the few American outfield players ever to play at such an elite club (putting aside their current blip). If he doesn’t thrive, he’ll still have other suitors throughout Europe and potentially the opportunity to stay at one of his loan clubs. The fact is that this kid wants to go and test himself in Europe — with that as a given, this is a pretty damn good option. And at just 20, he’s got many years to develop given that CBs peak much later. So my fingers are crossed.

  18. As a USMNT and Chelsea fan (there are a few of us out there), I’m actually happy about this. As likely as it is that Miazga gets loaned out, I still think it will be good for him to work during preseason with a legend that has a similar skill set like John Terry, as well as Gary Cahill (assuming he doesn’t leave).

  19. Can’t be much of a surprise to RB supporters. Miazga seemed pretty intent on going to Europe- holds a passport and had plenty of interest. Best of luck in this challenge to a talented young player.

  20. The US nat to europe success stories are few and far between and this guy is too important. I don’t see Chelsea caring enough about him or his development. They’ll just go out and buy the next guy if they don’t see what they like… I do have high hopes though, for Miazga, even at Chelsea. With them being in such a bad position in the table and news of a Cahill exit maybe this scenario will be different. I think I would have preferred Stoke, but certainly can’t be disappointed in a 20 year old signing for a “top club” like CFC. Would love to see him crack the first team and avoid being loaned. I put a lot of faith in Miazga being a US centerback for a long time. I know not to count my chickens but the kid has THAT potential. Along with brooks, while not likely, those two potentially could become a top of the line pairing. A US fan can dream.

    • It is all about playing time. A player wants to go to the highest level where they can be regular player (either a bench substitute or regular starter). He is neither at Chelsea. They definitely have players out on loans starting or playing at better clubs then NYRB (Mönchengladbach/Dortmund/Werder/Middlesborough). Cahill is definitely better than Miazga.

      What is up with this silly obsession with the EPL?

      • I agree with you, I want him to play and not be wasted. I have no obsession with the EPL. Simply saying how do you turn down a transfer to Chelsea as a 20 year old american. I said I would have preferred him to go to a club like stoke as they were linked to him. Stoke is a gritty club with mid table talent and Cameron being there would help, I think he could fight for time there as well. I have faith in Miazga as a talent, regardless of where he is.

      • …As for the Cahill comment, I never even remotely implied he was better than Cahill. There are rumors that Cahill wants out. If he proves himself early I see no reason why he can’t get some time. I honestly believe he is capable, we shall see. If he is just going to be loaned to Gladbach or Dortmond I’d just prefer he transfer to one of those clubs instead. Wouldn’t want any part of Breman, that would be a terrible scenario IMO.

      • Cahill is declining and may not be at Chelsea much longer. As I mentioned above I disagree that Miazga can’t get anywhere near the 18 for Chelsea. But even so, he’s making $70k a year at RBNY. Are you really saying that if he’s not making the bench for Cheslea but making $500k or $1m a year, he’s made a bad move? This is his job and players careers are only 10-15 years. You can’t turn down money like that.

      • or how about we wait and see how this plays out before we automatically assume he’s not good enough to stay there and earn a spot. Listen, at some point an american player has to break through at a top clup in europe(if thats where the player wants to play)so why not now, why not Matt?? We americans have become so caught up in the failures or brief careers of our players oversees that people cant fathom a US player making over there, at a big club to boot! Let’s see what happens but if reports are true, the Blues have had a eye on him for a few years now so he may see time on the pitch(with the first team)sooner than we think!

      • ronniet,

        “why not now, why not Matt??”

        because he’s not even the best american player. it’s not that “oh, no american could play for the almighty CHELSEA”–for instance, i think donovan in his prime was good enough for chelsea, likely dempsey and fabian too, and i think they could really use a player like cameron–it’s that we’re talking about a guy who’s had one good season in mls. (i’m not knocking mls here, just saying that it’s not the epl.)

      • I’ve watched Miazga quite a bit. At 19 he was a standout centerback and the starter for the eventual supporters shield winner. He played for multiple US teams, including the full national team and did not look over-matched. Of all the young US prospects, I think, he has the best chance of playing for a top-level team and to do so this year. Chelsea is getting long of tooth in the back, Miazga can learn a lot there and as he continues to grow, he will get some chances to show what he can do. He already plays smart enough that he never seems to be caught in foot races so I have not been able to tell how fast he is, but no Not so sure about that. The police in Ferguson, MO did that and the back-lash was pretty big. Done on a bigger scale and in a white neighborhood things would get pretty dicey politically. Most politicians do not have the appetite for that. However, laws can be misused and someone like Trump would not hesitate (much like his friend Putin).lay one is smart enough to be perfect and I do not recall him being out raced for many balls.

        I think he is clearly is closer to the highest level than Yedlin, Green, Agudelo, Zelalem or any other US player close to his age.

      • Odd post. I agree with the parts about Miazga but not sure how that political analysis ended up in the post.

  21. Another conscript for the Loan Army!

    Seriously, I’d hope that NYRB are able to work a loan deal to get him back for at least half the season.l

  22. Chelsea is bad enough that he might get a look at the 1st team this year. But he better impress when he does, They aren’t going to just sit on those deep pockets all summer. I’d hate to see him fall into the classic, “get buried in the reserves, get loaned a few times, return to MLS in 3 years w/ tail firmly between legs” cycle. Overall, risky move but I appreciate the ambition.

    • He’s not coming back on loan and, yes, now RBNY needs at least two center backs. Zubar and Ouimette is not exactly a fearsome pairing and after that I don’t know who they’ll plug in. Someone from RBNY II I suppose or the kid they just drafted. I’m happy for Matt but this hurts RBNY in 2016 a lot.

      • You’d have to be fool to think that he would earn playing time at center back at Chelsea anytime soon over John Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma. Not to mention, they have over 30, OVER 30, players on loan. This includes 6 paying center backs at loans at clubs like Werder Bremen, Dortmund, Mönchengladbach or various Championship clubs where they are playing. He might be getting there too late in the window to go out on transfer.

      • First of all, multiple sources are reporting that he will not go on loan until the summer, if at all. Second, I totally disagree with people saying in knee-jerk fashion that Matt won’t play for Chelsea. It’s typical US soccer fan inferiority – “oh surely an American/MLS player will never set foot on the field for such an amazing club like Chelsea.”

        In this instance, I’m telling you it’s not true. I’ve seen him play just about every minute that he’s been on the field in MLS and the improvement from 2014 to 2015 was incredible. I admit I’m biased because he’s a RBNY player and from New Jersey but this kid can play and he is not far away from being able to get plenty of minutes for a team like Chelsea. He has the ability to develop into a Champions League caliber center back.

        This is exactly what MLS academies are supposed to do – develop our best young players and, at this point, most of them are going to go abroad. Now we need MLS academies to produce about 50 more players this good at age 20 and the USMNT will be in great shape.

      • He’s good enough. Maybe he needs a short time to adjust but he’s good enough and driven enough to outcompete other guys for a spot. Agree that Americans are the only ones who would think, “oh, well, happy for him, but this is only good if he plays.” That is the definition of an inferiority complex and I think even the players, along with fans, are starting to catch it. Go kill it with the big boys Matt.

      • And even if he doesn’t play, he’s getting to train with some very experienced and accomplished team mates (especially a certain CB or two). If this spring he gets to focus on learning what it takes to play with the best, day in day out, and doesn’t even play minutes, he’s still establishing a significant part of the foundation of his professional career. And I had no idea he was this impressive to warrant a move to a huge club.

      • *I misread. I meant Borussia Mochengladbach not Borussia Dortmund. Still very impressive. All of these guys play and Papy used to be a regular starter at Nantes. I gotta believe he is forcing a way out or a move because he knows he was a starter elsewhere. These are all centerbacks between 19-23 except for Papy who is 27.

        – Tomáš Kalas (22): Centreback – Middlesbrough (on loan from Chelsea).
        – Andreas Christensen (19): Centreback – Borussia Mönchengladbach (on loan from Chelsea).
        – Michael Hector (23): Centreback – Reading (on loan from Chelsea)
        – Nathan Aké (20): Centreback (some defensive midfield)- Watford (on loan from Chelsea)
        – Kenneth Omeruo (22): Centreback – Kasımpaşa (Turkey) (on loan from Chelsea)
        – Papy Djilobodji (27): Centreback – Werder Bremen (on loan from Chelsea)

        Ake, Christensen and Kalas are young and very highly regarded. They will probably be his main competition. I hope I am wrong, and Miazaga blows them out of the water, but I have seen them all play on NBC sports, BeIN and Fox and the look very good.

    • I agree with slow on this. I’ve seen him play almost every game. He is already solid, his read of the game belies his youth, you can’t teach height, and his upside at 20 is enormous. And though he may not start EPL games next week, it would not surprise me at all if he had a long career with cream of the crop European clubs and became a constant feature on the USMNT backline. Good luck to him!

      • Agreed! I think at minimum he pulls a Tim Howard and doesn’t cut it at Chelsea and ends up with regular minutes for a mid-table team. He has the talent and size to play at the big clubs if given a fair chance to develop though.

      • Big jump from 2014 to 2015 physically he is just starting to developed some shoulders and thighs.

        What would have been a pie in the sky vision if MattM was going to the Spurs. Making a career pairing with Carters Vickers and Yedlin for a backline cohesion. You can talk player development, academies, etc but get some players who play with each other on a club team and that cohesion transfer huge to the international game. Just look at Spain(Barca/Madrid) and zeGermans(Bayern/Dortmund)

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