(Matt Miazga battling Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco in August 2015 – Photo by Mike Lawrence – Sportsday Wire)
The New York Red Bulls have sent defender Matt Miazga to Chelsea of the English Premier League in a transfer completed on Saturday morning.
This is a major step for Miazga as he now joins one of the finest clubs in the world in Chelsea.
Chelsea, who played the Red Bulls in a friendly last summer, won the English Premier League in 2015 and have had a tough time this season, leading to the dismissal of Manager Jose Mourinho. Though it is unlikely they will repeat as EPL champions, they are still in the European Champions League and FA Cup competitions.
Miazga, 20 years old, is going to be looked at as part of the new core of Chelsea defenders, along with Kurt Zouma, 21; Olla Aina, 19; Cesar Azpilicueta, 26, and Baba Rahman, 21. The longtime, and very accomplished, leaders of the Chelsea defense have been captain John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, who are both over 30 years old.
The Red Bulls singed Miazga as a Homegrown product in May of 2013. He made 38 appearances, including 34 starts in his three years with the team. His one goal was a memorable one, as it came in their 3-1 win over NYC FC on June 28, 2015 at Yankee Stadium.
Miazga took over for the injured Ronald Zubar on opening day last season and worked his way into the starting role, helping the Red Bulls win the Supporters’ Shield, best regular season record in MLS, for the second time in three seasons.
The 20-year old Miazga was named the 2015 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year in December. He also earned his first cap with the U.S. National Team in 2015.
Miazga said in a statement, “I am forever grateful for my time at Red Bull for providing me the opportunity to grow and develop into the player I am today. My experiences there have helped me fulfill my lifelong goal along with the support of my family, friends, and God.”
A native of Clifton, New Jersey, Miazga said of the Red Bulls, “It was a dream come true to sign my first professional contract with my hometown club. I want to say thank you to the entire New York Red Bull organization, including all of my coaches, teammates, and staff that were there with me during my time with the club.”
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said in a statement, “This is an exciting day for Matt and his family. This is a testament to our academy system to develop players capable of competing with the best players in the world and we are proud of what Matt has accomplished. It was a pleasure coaching him this past year and we wish him well.”
Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis said in a statement, “It is a bittersweet day for the New York Red Bulls. We are very happy for Matt to get the opportunity but it is tough to see him leave after coming through our academy to the first team – there is a different feel when one of our homegrown players leaves.
“We tried everything we could to keep Matt but we understand and respect his desire to play in Europe. Moving forward, we’ll either reinforce the team from within our existing player pool or we will acquire a player from the international market. Additionally, the proceeds of this transfer provide us with greater resources to put back into our youth system.
“We will cheer for Matt from Red Bull Arena. He will always be a part of our family and we wish him the best,” said Curtis.