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Hiddink: Matt Miazga ‘fit’, close to featuring for Chelsea


Veteran centerback John Terry is not an option for Guus Hiddink and Chelsea come Sunday against Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but the Blues boss revealed that a certain U.S. Men’s National Team defender may be ready to go.

In a press conference on Friday, Hiddink told reporters 20-year-old Matt Miazga is fit, and barring tests in training on Friday, could be ready to play on Sunday.

“(Miazga) is close, he is fit,” the manager said. “He had a good preseason and he is fit. We are doing some tests today and I will get results this afternoon, but I think, normally, he will fit. He’s OK. What the weekend will bring? It’s too early (to say) at this moment.”

Miazga made the bench for the first time with the Blues in the club’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League loss against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. In place of Terry, Branislav Ivanovic wore the captain’s armband vs. PSG and partnered with Gary Cahill on the back line.

What do you think of Hiddink’s comments? Expect Miazga to play on Sunday?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. No, I’m not getting ahead of myself I am totally sober and fully realize how much has to fall into place for prospects to manifest. Still… after the recent very lean American’s abroad… the emergence of CCV at Tottenham, Miazga at Chelsea, Pulisic’s run at Dortmund, talk of Emerson at MU… Wood getting a sniff at the Bundesliga…. I at least have more reason for hope of seeing US talent playing quality first division European soccer sometime in the future. Don’t you dare even try to take that away from me. Lol.

  2. Chelsea is in a brutal stretch with EPL, FA Cup, and CL and is down to two CBs both over 30. Its Miazga with a couple years MLS experience and USMNT or an 18 yr old Chelsea product with only youth experience. The Red Sea has parted so to speak for Miazga to get a chance, I hope he takes it well. I would think Man City will be sending out a pretty strong side although they are away at Kiev on Wednesday in CL.

    • Good for him, of course with Van Gaal seemingly on his way out (of course how many times have we said that in the last two years) who knows.

    • Looks like next season we’ll have a bunch of USMNT fans saying how Hyndman will never get first team football at Man U and hoping he doesn’t get a chance to play in big games.

      • He has had trouble finding the field for Fulham the last year and a half so I don’t think that that would be an unrealistic prediction by anyone.

        Doesn’t mean people are rooting against US players. Miazga got lucky that the breaks went his way, others like Bradley at Villa or Greene at Hamburg had things go against them that weren’t their fault, some have done it to themselves like Jozy and Freddy.

      • It seems Hyndmans inability to find the field consistently is down to him not wanting to sign a contract extension with Fulham and they haven’t been happy about it thus his limited play. It’s a petty move by the club but one that is not new in sport and unfortunately may have impeded his progress. If these reports are true it’s a testament to the type of player he is irregardless of Fulhams attempts to keep him hidden and at the club.

  3. Remember the days when Bradley was considered a liability because of his temper? People mature and grow up. But that fire will hopefully propel his growth.

    • Good call. I forgot about that. Early on, he was pretty reckless but I remember at one point, he really matured and instead of going crazy with tackles, he focused on positioning.

  4. I certainly have eaten my pile of crow: after watching his early efforts with the RBNY first team, I thought he was too disorganized and hotheaded to learn well enough. I was wrong!

    • His temper does flare every now and again, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As he matures, I anticipate (hope?) that he’ll gain some wisdom and channel that passion in a more productive way. One thing seems certain — he’s not going to back down to anybody, even in the PL.

  5. People have been underestimating Matt since he first broke into the RBNY team last season. You could see the US soccer fan inferiority complex on full display recently with people saying he’d never actually play for Chelsea or hoping he wouldn’t have to come on against PSG.

    I am not at all unbiased as a RBNY and USMNT fan, but this guy can play. He’s got all the tools and, while he’s not the finished product, and will get better, he’s going to do well when he gets his chance. It’s looking like that could be sooner rather than later.

    • Hoping his first match wouldn’t have to be an away CL match against PSG is not the same as underestimating Miazga. An FA Cup match, assuming Man City plays reserves, is a pretty good starting point. Honestly, I didn’t expect him to make a first-team appearance until later in the campaign, after at least one run out in the reserves just to get him back to match speed.

    • I don’t think it is an inferiority complex to think that Miazga would not start or play regularly for a typical Chelsea team under the Abramovich reign. They would be too deep. That being said, no said he would never get there when he gets developed. Let’s be honest here, the current Chelsea 1st team is down to 1 CB (Cahill) and 1 deputy (Ivanovich). There other 2 are hurt (Terry and Zouma). If they were able to recall their other CB’s from loan and the aforementioned guys were healthy, he would be 6th on the depth chart (and that’s favorable because I rank him higher than a few of them and I assume the guys playing left back and CDM will stay there). He is very talented but, in the few times I watched him last year, a bit raw.

      That being said, I hope he shows really well and proves me wrong

    • it’s not an inferiority complex to say that an untested defender with a new team who is just getting fit is unlikely to do well against zlatan, cavani, di maria, and lucas moura–that’s just common sense.

      it’s also not an inferiority complex to say miazga (or *any* chelsea player) probably wouldn’t play for them. if you take it literally (as in, look at the probability of a random chelsea signee getting minutes for the first team), it’s simply a true statement. now with zouma and terry injured and any loanees unavailable, the odds have greatly improved. but those predictions were when he first signed.

      • all of which to say, slow: your superiority complex is showing. don’t sweat it, man–i think he’ll come good, at chelsea or elsewhere.

      • It’s not a superiority complex – I’m not guaranteeing he’s going to make everyone forget about John Terry or be the greatest CB in the world. But the knee jerk reaction by many US soccer fans to just assume no American can possibly be good enough to play at a top club is tiresome.

        Go look at the comments on articles when he first signed. It was all “he’ll never play a minute for them” “he’ll just get sent out on loan every year” etc. Now, a couple of weeks later and he looks set to get some minutes.

        Instead of being happy to see a young American playing doing well, moving to a big club etc., people are just waiting for him to fail.

      • Instead of being happy to see a young American playing doing well, moving to a big club etc., people are just waiting for him to fail.”

        That’s a big epidemic in society relating to a lot of subjects. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but it appears to have increased significantly in the past 20 years. Maybe it’s a product of social media and the instant-gratification syndrome, but it’s pretty rampant on SBI, too.

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