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Miazga gets latest chance to impress in USMNT backline


The U.S. Men’s National Team may have several new faces coming on for the first time, but a familiar figure returns for the November camp in hopes of bolstering his status in the defensive corps.

Matt Miazga was called into Gregg Berhalter’s squad just weeks after transitioning into a new move at club level. Miazga was loaned out for the fifth time by Chelsea this Fall, joining Belgian side Anderlecht for the 2020-21 season.

His latest loan sees him head to Belgium for the first time in his domestic career, and provides a major opportunity to develop into a top defensive option.

“I love it [the loan], I’ve already been watching their games, they have a clear idea, a clear structure of how they want to build up from the back, he’s [Miazga] asked to do that,” Berhalter said in a conference call Tuesday. “A guy in [Vincent] Kompany, who’s played at a really high level, has been able to sustain his high level for a long period of time, has worked under top coaches, I think it’s a good move.”

Miazga has only appeared twice for Chelsea since his move from the New York Red Bulls in 2016. The Clifton, New Jersey native spent the last season and a half with EFL Championship side Reading playing in 42 matches and scoring two goals for the club.

His latest loan spell might prove the most benefits for him long-term, along with the USMNT. Miazga has jumped right into Kompany’s starting lineup, appearing in three consecutive league matches and going the distance in all of them.

With several young defensive prospects knocking on the door of the USMNT, Miazga will aim to keep hold of a spot going forward, starting with friendlies against Wales and Panama over the next two weeks.

“I spoke to Matt before he went to Anderlecht and he told me the vision that the club had for him and it was an exciting move for him,” Berhalter said. “The key to Matt is to just keep playing games, keep playing at a high level. He’s a very talented player.”


  1. I actually like what Miazga brings to he table. I don’t think he’s perfect….or a given starter. But I do think he’s worthy of being among the 4-5 CB’s in contention for the “A” Team. When you compare him to other CB’s in the US Pool he stacks up well….
    1) He’s a better passer of the ball than Long.
    2) He’s more experienced (logged more games/minutes) than EPB, CCV, Robinson
    3) He’s younger than Ream & Brooks…so still has gas in the tank.
    4) He’s faster than Ream.
    5) He hasn’t been sidelined with injuries like Brooks.

    I like him because he plays with a chip on his shoulder and adds bite to the defense. Yes he’s lost his cool a couple times…but if he’s learned to channel that energy/physicality than it could make him an even better player.
    He’s currently in a good place and able to learn from a former start CB…similar to McKennie & Juv. He’s not the long term solution for the team, but he is a solid player.

  2. it all gets a bit silly. he has never played a league game for chelsea. that is basically a technicality. he has played for a series of teams on loan. some work, some don’t. i don’t see him ever playing for CFC for real. i don’t see any sustained progression. i understand hope springs eternal but it’s a new home every year and the supposed benefits of this arrangement haven’t meaningfully trickled down. it’s like “next year” yedlin or robinson or dest will be good on defense.

    • LoL. c’mon IV. It’s like the only game you’ve ever seen Robinson or Dest play was their first with the Nats. Players do progress-especially very young defenders. You seem to have a particular hard-on for slagging 2 young, developing FBs that have had the interest of some pretty credible evaluators of talent. It’s not exactly a position we’ve traditionally had many options…. curious to know which players you favor instead?

      • that’s not really my point. i am a little bored with the bruce arena-esque backline revolving door of usual suspects. he keeps calling the same basic ensemble — it’s the one part of this call sheet that is basically rote — and then y’all defend it as well “x” is now at team “y” and let’s hope he has progressed. my experience is people say this 20 times about yedlin and every time he comes back and gets backdoored for literally the same goal. i think few players dramatically progress like dempsey did mid career. i think most are the same player with perhaps better fitness or some sandpaper on some edges. i think we are naive about the impact of career choices and i wish we’d simply try more people — as we are doing at every other position this window — except back. i listed the backs i wanted to see the other day. my point here is i keep seeing “new and improved” articles on all the players who moved and they tend to show back up looking roughly the same. miazga is 25 and on his umpteenth team. how much do you really think players change from one team to the next. i wish for his stability he would get permanently sold and routinely played. i think he might be a bench level back if he got consistent. but otherwise i think people are ignoring how, say, ireland went and telling me i haven’t watched anderlecht enough. i doubt many of you have either.

    • I wish Berhalter had brought in EPB from Austria, but I don’t see anything wrong with having Miazga at this point. It’s not like the US is one of the top teams that has 3 or 4 good players at every position. At CB we Brooks, Miazga, EPB, maybe CCV, who hasn’t yet played for
      Bournemouth, and Richards who is still developing. We are getting to the point in the calendar where we need to start developing a team and getting certain players, like CB’s, to learn to play together. Sometimes it sounds like you are just looking for something to complain about.

    • At CB there just aren’t that many US eligible players….
      Brooks, Richards, Miazga, EPB, CCV, M. Robinson, Long, Alvarado, McKenzie & Ream are the only options that currently come to mind. Of this group…Long, McKenzie & M. Robinson were out due to MLS. I’d have preferred to see Alvarado, EPB, or CCV instead of Ream…but it’s Gregg’s choice.
      At outside back we’re not exactly overflowing with options either.
      A. Robinson, Dest, Cannon, Moore, Lichaj, are the only consistent players in Europe. There are only a couple additional options in MLS…but again most are blocked for this camp. So again not very many choices.

      • Lost- not sure on EPB either, it’s so hard to tell when all you see is highlights. CCV still hasn’t dressed for Bournemouth so in my book best to leave him to integrate with his club. Alvarado moves to San Luis who is last place and giving up tons of goals, not sure if any of that is Ventura’s fault but not a good sign.

      • EPB should be on the team because we’re playing in freaking Austria and he’s finally landed his pro career someplace stable. I am a bigger CCV fan and find it absurd if he’s almost punished for growing in reputation and getting transferred. He is associated with a lot of the upset type results this cycle and I think that’s because — while he fouls a lot — he is actually marking his man. A lot of the others like Brooks don’t foul as much but they also are like 5 yards off them too. Good at marking air.

    • I don’t think anyone considers Miazga as a Chelsea player realistically. I mean if he couldn’t make it back in that squad with CB debacle they had last season. He did however start two Premier League matches in 2016 against Villa and Swansea to be completely factual.

      • Miazga is only a Chelsea player technically, not in actuality. What people need to remember is that he did fine in Holland and he is in a good situation in Belgium. His manager at Anderlicht was arguably one of the best CB’s in the world for quite a few years. Even if Miazga never makes the starting line-up in Chelsea, establishing himself in Belgium or Holland or similar is still pretty good. Reminder, Gooch did very well internationally while playing in Belgium.

      • GP: you’re listing half his stops and acting like it’s all of them. I think he tends to look a rusty mess when he makes a bad stop eg Rennes. I also think there is a little bit of UEFA club snob coming in when players think the team makes the player as opposed to the players make the team. i think the coaches that make players actually better are few. i think generally speaking people confuse getting out the checkbook with coaching them up. past age group ball it tends to be more about what do you already bring to the table. if you need work they loan you out or sell you — and buy someone else to see if they fit the bill. age group kids are who gets coached up. first teamers it’s about a final product versus a cost. miazga has bounced around because he’s ok but presumably expensive by association with chelsea. so chelsea probably wants a lot in transfer which is worth more than what you get on the field. what he needs is chelsea cashes out but there are players in their mid 20s there who have been on loan since their teens. they are ruthless. all you can do is leave when your contract is up or hope one of these loan stops is unusually impressed and willing to pay.

      • it’s a little similar to weah in the sense that the teams that can afford his inflated price can afford about anyone for first team players, and he’s kind of a work in progress, and the teams he can play for are on a budget and might not afford him. and so he’s at lille not playing much as a 9 sub. i kind of wish they’d all run out their deals and moderate their ambitions, so they play and get used right.

      • JR: the deal is some people defend these loan players like inherently they are the quality of the asset holding team in the first division when they have rarely or never played there in league. Which to me is a club snobbery thing where “if Chelsea bought him he must be good” or like it rubs off when you sign the contract. Which does not reflect where he actually plays or even how those more lowly teams evaluate him. In reality, to me, he’s a second rate European, someone who could play in Holland, Championship, B.2, Scandinavia. Decent money, decent league, but due to the loans he bounces around that level but has no stability. So he’s overrated by some based on his rights holder and then he’s not getting full benefit of the Peter Principle because he never lands and relaxes anywhere. Next season he has a new coach to impress and 1/2 the time it doesn’t quite take. I was more impressed with his upside when he was at RBNY and you knew he’d have a game tomorrow and next season. He’s gone from 2017 Gold Cup player-in-waiting to irregular call up. If EPB and CCV got their fair shots or Richards plays inside, he might disappear.

    • What’s amazing is how young CCV still is… easy to forget as it seems he’s been around a long time. That kind of seasoning as a young CB is certainly in his favor- he has plenty of upside but I suspect he is not at the top of the list in Berhalter’s plans as he isn’t the type of defender that ideally suits the way GB wants to play- passing out of the back or speedy enough to hold a high line pressing lesser teams. Miazga is more in that mold as are Richards, hopefully McKenzie down the line.


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