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Matt Miazga joins La Liga side Alaves on loan for 2021-2022 season

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Matt Miazga’s loan parade has taken him from the Netherlands to France to Belgium, but for the first time since Chelsea started loaning him out, the U.S. men’s national team defender is set to go on loan to one of the top four leagues in Europe.

Miazga has completed a loan move to La Liga side Alaves, a deal that corresponds with Miazga signing a contract extension with Chelsea for another season, taking his deal with the UEFA Champions League winners through the 2022-2023 season.

Miazga is coming off a successful loan stint with Belgian giants Anderlecht, where he made 30 appearances playing for Vincent Kompany.

Miazga now joins an Alaves side that opened the season with a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid. Alaves started two central defenders in their 30s in the season opener, and new manager Javier Calleja will be hoping the 26-year-old U.S. men’s national team goalkeeper can force his way into the starting lineup.

A move to La Liga will give Miazga the opportunity to showcase himself at a whole new level, and could help him sharpen his game as he tries to secure a place in Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT setup in what is an increasingly competitive centerback pool.

Alaves plays Mallorca this weekend, then visits Valencia next week before the international break.

Miazga is in contention for a place in the USMNT World Cup qualifying squad for September’s qualifiers, but could find himself on the outside looking in due to his lack of playing time in the lead-up to those qualifiers.


What do you think of Miazga’s loan to Alaves? See it being a good move for him? Think he can thrive in La Liga? See him competing for a starting spot with the USMNT?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. OK, Miazga has made some mistakes in defending and he is not the fastest guy around. But, Sands made some bad errors in the GC, they just did not get punished by goals, that is, he was lucky. Richards is faster, but he is also prone to giveaways in bad spots, not something you want to see in a defender. I can’t remember Robinson making a major blunder in the GC and he made some nice defensive plays to bail out others. Brooks is a solid physical guy, but 1v1 defending against speedy players is not his forte. Dest, Vine, Richards, Moore, Cannon, are more wing backs in a 3-5-2 formation, their propensity to get forward (and get caught out of position to defend make them not the best choices for the back 3 or for either of 2 centerbacks). I think that ends up with still imperfect choices in the back where the nature of the opposition may dictate which formation and which players will start. I don’t think I would take Miazga over Robinson or Brooks in any scenario, but as a 3rd back, I think he is competitive with Zimmerman, better than Richards who would be better out wide if he can solve his give-aways. I don’t CCV is as good. So who am I missing? Yedlin, Dest, Moore, Vines, Cannon and Richards would likely be out wide so aren’t in direct competition with Miazga in any case.

    Amongst all the possibilities, only Robinson seems to me to be a lock as CB, that probably means he won’t see a minute in WCQs, but Brooks will. Miazga, Sands and maybe Richards will likely back them up. (Zimmerman is unlikely to be ready, but healthy he would also be in the mix)

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    • explain why Robinson wouldn’t see a minute in wcq, after saying he seems to be a lock at CB? If anything, he is a lock starter next to JAB for me, his GC performances would dictate that, as well as the fact that all of our other CB’s domestically and abroad are either playing inconsistently off the bench or have dealt with injuries of late!

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  2. In the past following transfers GB has left those players with their new squads. I wonder if that will hold this camp with Miazga, KDLF and Sargent or if WCQ takes precedence.

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    • i think you’re conflating an excuse to leave people off with an excuse to leave people in.

      objectively based on playing time and performance miazga and ream should be giving way to the standout centerbacks from gold cup. one of my big issues with the club snobbery these days is this is less about how you play and more about where you play. setting aside their addresses this would not even be a debate. and the irony on that is if the others moved they’d probably be at as good or better clubs.

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      • I think Greg has done a good job of integrating, and playing players from abroad and domestically despite their club name, so this idea that call ups are solely based on club, rather than performance is overblown…I just think that’s a narrative that people have conjured up with no facts to back it up!

    • also, let’s be real, he’s being shifted on loan to a team that was 16th place last year, sits 19th so far this year, he’s going to earn his paycheck on that defense, and this is not a prime perch. this is more like being on fulham when they squeak into EPL. time to play your butt off.

      at some point he needs to quit on CFC, let his contract run, and sign someplace he likes. CFC is quite content to loan people out for a big fraction of a decade, more than one contract term, as an asset. get bought or get out. catch 22 i see with CFC is they want to get an EPL level transfer fee for players loaned away from there and thus arguably not that level, and the sort of team taking a player like this on loan does not necessarily want or have the money to buy. so you have a greedy rights holder and cheap loan destinations, never between do they meet. takes years to get out.

      as i understand it he’s about to extend his deal. he’s screwed then. CFC is not bringing him into the first team. they will loan him forever. and he’s slipping downwards on USMNT where there are tons of newer shiny objects to look at. not setting himself up well to fend off richards and che and zimmermann and sands and co. over time.

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    • The difference is that past camps were almost exclusively for friendlies.
      With WCQ starting and 3 games to be played each window it’ll be difficult to leave some recently transferred players with their clubs.
      The first window we face El Salvador (away), Canada (Home), Honduras (Away). Historically winning home games and stealing some points on the road was enough to qualify. But with Canada & Honduras on the rise it’ll be critical to get a bank of points out of the gate due to the schedule getting more difficult for us later down the road.
      KDLF has been the hot hand to start the season, I can’t see him being left off. Sargent is one of our most complete strikers…again I don’t see how he gets left home. Miazga I could see being left out considering the positive play of some of our CBs during Gold Cub…but I doubt he will.

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      • i can see konrad being left off easy unless we carry more than 23. within 23 players they maybe spend 6-7 on forwards. 2 players per slot. pefok, aaronson, reyna, weah, hoppe, sargent. 6. konrad has never played a game that counts for this team. wasn’t on gold cup 2019 and took the summer off. his chance to make the team was go to a tournament and play better than someone like hoppe. no way does he leapfrog the players the coach trusted all summer. this is not klinsmann, he’s not going to pull a pulisic and run someone in cold.

        i expect sargent to make it, think he has positive qualities and used to be in his camp, but it’s a production position and he has no goals in 2 years. the coach had four new 9s in gold cup camp and doesn’t seem comfortable. more to the point, perhaps think about why we were winning every game late or in OT with subs in.

    • Konrad might not make the roster but it won’t be because of his recent transfer he’s been with Marseille for almost 2 months. Sargent will have been with Portsmouth for several weeks and importantly before that was playing with Bremen. Miazga may not be in the plans anyway but has been playing preseason matches with Chelsea and their U23s so his fitness should be ok. Likewise someone like CCV has been playing with Spurs. Some of the GC guys like Hoppe, Cannon, and Moore have not played since the final so their match fitness might be in question. Richards would be another who has not been playing really many exhibition minutes so that might rule him out not if he is moved in the next 10 days.

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  3. It has to be break or make time for Matt. He is at his prime and lots of experience, lets hope he becomes a regular and a nice headache for Berhalter.

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    • “let’s hope he becomes a regular?” why? he’s single handedly responsible for a list of goals this cycle. if he ever played to his 2017 promise, fine. if not, we are accumulating plenty of options including mckenzie, richards, zimmermann, sands, robinson, che, etc. some of them are in europe too. they are all decent. why is he special? because he got there first? begs the question.

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      • Could be wrong but I took it as he hopes be becomes are regular with his new club and give Berhalter more tough decisions to make, as in more viable options is better than less. Not so much that he’s hoping for Miazga with the US team instead of someone else

      • fair enough. my thing is just people tend to get overhopeful on these loans and transfers. antonee robinson was not magically fixed by fulham. i wish them all well and no ill i just think at a point the hope is naive. i’d rather sit here and watch who turns out well as opposed to cheerlead the more mixed bag ones trying to fix themselves. we should be finding the ones playing well as opposed to trying to fix the ones who aren’t.

      • we should really be evaluating if these moves work in december based on how games go. my deal is the people acting like you’ve changed signing the paper in august.

      • LoL The Impetuous voice- resident knee jerk contrarian. Hilarious that simply wishing someone well illicits that kind of response. We probably should not expect him to be world class, but write off all hope, not even wish good things for the career of a 26 year old player? Dude- breath, smile. 😉

      • dude: did you miss “i wish them all well?” my point is rarely does the transfer change a thing. you are what you are. alves doesn’t magically sprinkle pixie dust on you.

        and to be clear, miazga was once the shiny new thing back about 2017 and then he made this stupid chelsea move and endless loans and lack of a consistent team and coach to play for, and brain dead guy is about to extend that. and while i wouldn’t write him off, a pro soccer career is roughly a decade or so, the clock is ticking, and he’s wasting his own time.

        re “contrarian,” the fact he was once worth a crap but faded after the chelsea move and its never ending loans points to how career choices can affect players. there is a “type” on here that wants people signed at big clubs regardless how it actually turns out for the player. my suggestion is look at how people like aaronson and others have done by being slightly less ambitious. talent is one part. the other part is putting yourself in a position to succeed. miazga is not setting himself up to succeed. if he remains on loan, if alves goes well, it will be another new team next year. so he never gets to bed in and cash in on one of these moves. and like i said, clock is ticking, and at 26 he’s got 1-2 world cups left, and at this time, a ton of youth talent coming up. if you don’t make it count the kids like richards in a year or two will have their crap together and you will be toast and they will be even younger than he is.

      • and also dude ICYMI miazga didn’t play a minute of nations league and anyone with a brain could see that puts you on thin thin thin ice for making the quali team, with gold cuppers playing their butt off. same thing musah.

        last point, if you are one of these chelsea perma-loan kids — and they had some other guy who started there in his teens and got deep into his 20s before finally leaving — every year is a hopeful story like this. nantes one year. vitesse another. has he changed? if anything he’s gotten worse. or did you miss the winners ireland and italy got at his expense, the 2 goals a crap panama team scored on him, and the general fact that his presence on the field associates with most of the 2+ goals allowed games this cycle? personally i think he and brooks are the worst marking backs in the pool, not that the club snobs notice, because all they care is who you play for on saturdays, not if you could stop someone’s grandmother to save your life.

      • Dude. You are missing the big picture here. Miazga wants to leave Chelsea, has stated this in public as all parties know he won’t play there again. COVID ruined the market. I am sure Chelsea would sell if the market was better but they don’t want to lose money. So his options are extend the contract and go on loan and hope for playing time or stay at Chelsea, run down his contract, and just train for 12 months. Kind of a no brainer in a World Cup year.

      • And you ask why he is special? Simply because he IS more experienced and has experienced more and will do the little things to get under an opponents skin (Llainez incident). BTW, get your facts straight…he got Nation League minutes. And the Gold Cup…Puleeeze. How many times have we seen an MLS darling look great in a Camp Cupcake or CONCACAF creampuff friendly only to see them fail when they face Euro or South American competition. I do find it curious that Miazga seems to get minutes in matches against European teams. We do have a lot of decent defenders competing for minutes, and Miazga should be one of them. And I would think a year learning under Kompany should count for something.

    • @IV-or… dude if you prefer… I was responding to your initial response because I found it pretty funny. To me it seemed completely out of context with what Mario in QT said- kinda like someone with an itchy trigger looking for something to rail against. Your response to a guy merely wishing Miazga well didn’t really feel so “I wish them all well”. OK Cheeeeers

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      • out of context? he was like i hope he becomes a regular and gives the US HC a headache. my response is, essentially, people are naive about whether these moves improve the players. i can rattle off a list, yedlin, robinson, etc. throw a little transfer pixie dust over a player in their 20s and hope magic happens. to be fair, this particular head coach adores analytics and falls for it about every time. “wow, have you seen [robinson’s, yedlin’s] numbers at [turkish club, english club…]”. brings the guy in, same putz he was before. meanwhile we ignore their team also got relegated. fanboy bs.

        what i would like is spend more time watching how they play for the USA and less time going over club stats spreadsheets. and to me pretending their next club transfer is a cure is that sort of naive nonsense.

      • and to be clear with miazga this is like the 5th time in 5 years i have read some variation on this story and he’s only gone from gold cup 2017 promise to sitting all of nations league 2021. exasperating. if he re-signs chelsea i expect a few more years of “maybe miazga finds a home this year” which if you have a brain in your head is a weird weird weird way to be talking about a player literally about to sign a new contract that most people would use to stabilize their career and find a home rather than further fill a swiss bank account.

      • LoL. Alright wel… I think you’ve kind of made my point. Your post had little to do with the comment- seemingly read quite a bit into mere well wishes. And I didn’t make any value judgements + or – about the move or Miazga. I think it was more like an opportunity for you to vent your own apparently pent up angst about Miazga. Would run totally counter to your shtick, but… maybe a better way of doing that is an independent post with your opinion rather than a nonsequiter response to what was essentially a guy saying… good luck Miazga. Just a thought. Ok back to soccer. 😉

      • it directly relates and you’re just trolling at this point. and i get y’all are trying to position me as knee jerk contrarian but i was the one promoting positive adds like moore reyna horvath and playing hoppe wide well before anyone else.

    • I don’t think it is make or break year for his club career but I don’t think GB likes him. Covid and empty stadiums have ruined the transfer market for those except the elite. Miazga wants to leave Chelsea, but Chelsea can’t find a buyer willing to meet their price. So Matt’s options are sit at Chelsea for a year without playing a competitive match or extend his current contract for a year and go on loan to a rather competitive league. Choice is simple there. And I would add that in playing in those leagues he has seen more than the guys who have just been playing in MLS.

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