Matt Miazga

Reading
  • DATE OF BIRTH

    19 July 1995
  • BIRTHPLACE

    Clifton, New Jersey, USA
  • Position

    Defender

Matt Miazga is an American defender who signed for Chelsea in January 2016 from New York Red Bulls.

He made his Blues debut three months later and has since enjoyed loan spells in the Netherlands, France and the Championship. Most recently, it was announced that Miazga would be returning to Reading on loan for the 2019/20 season. He had spent the second half of the previous campaign at the Madejski, making 18 appearances.

 

Making it in the States

Miazga joined the Red Bulls Academy in 2009 and signed his first professional contract four years later at the age of 17. He made his debut for the Red Bulls shortly after turning 18.

By the 2015 Major League Soccer season, the tall, strong centre-back had established himself as a regular in the heart of a defence which helped the Red Bulls finish with the best regular-season record in North America. He was an ever-present in the subsequent play-off campaign which ended with a narrow two-legged defeat to Columbus Crew in the Conference final.

A fine reader of the game, Miazga also sampled continental football at Red Bulls, appearing in the CONCACAF Champions League.


Becoming a Blue

Miazga signed at Stamford Bridge in January 2016 and was immediately handed the number 20 shirt. He first featured for our Under-21s in March before his senior debut, playing 90 minutes away at Aston Villa with John Terry and Gary Cahill both injured. The game went well as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 4-0 win. He made one further appearance in 2015/16, playing the first-half at Swansea a week after his debut.


Learning on loan

Still only 21, Miazga moved on a season-long loan to Vitesse in the summer of 2016 and, while he spent the early part of his time at the club in and out of the side, from February onwards the defender became a regular starter. He was part of the team which helped Vitesse win the Dutch Cup final, their first major trophy triumph. By the end of the campaign he had made 19 starts and 10 substitute appearances.

He returned to Vitesse for 2017/18 and featured prominently throughout the season, making 42 appearances and scoring four goals, including one in a Europa League qualifying play-off match against Utrecht.

For the first half of the 2018/19 season the American played in France, at Nantes, where he made nine appearances before switching to England and Reading. There he featured on 18 occasions for Jose Gomes’s Championship side as the Royals finished one place above the drop zone. His impact was positive enough for Reading to secure his return for the 2019/20 campaign.

 

International career

The defender made his debut for the US national team in November 2015 having represented his country at Under-20 and Under-23 level. With the US Under-23s, he was part of their qualification campaign for the 2016 Olympics but they were elminated at the play-off stage by Colombia. He was then in action throughout the summer of 2019 for his national team at the Gold Cup, where he played alongside new Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic as the USA finished runners-up to Mexico.