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Matt Miazga

Sport: Soccer

Born: July 19, 1995

Town: Clifton

Matthew Miazga was born July 19, 1995 in Clifton. Tall, fast and powerful, Matt showed early promise in soccer and was invited to participate in the New York Red Bulls Academy at the age of 13. In 2012, Matt helped the Red Bulls team win the U.S. Soccer Development Academy national championship. His soccer idols were Barcelona stars Gerard Piqué and Carles Puyol.

Matt was heavily recruited in high school and actually signed a letter of intent to play for Michigan. At the last minute, however, Matt decided to go pro and signed with the “hometown” MLS team. He made his first appearance in September 2013 against the Houston Dynamo. It was his only game that year. In 2014, he saw action in 7 games as a defender.

After adding more experience and some muscle to his 6’4” frame, Matt had his breakthrough year in 2015 for the Red Bulls. He cracked the starting lineup and teamed with French star Damien Perrinelle on the back line. He was named to the MLS Team of the Week four times.

Matt scored his first MLS goal in 2015 against New York City FC in a match at Yankee Stadium. He celebrated by taking a baseball swing. The Red Bulls won the Supporters’ Shield with the league’s best record. After beating DC United in the opening round in the playoffs, the Red Bulls lost to Columbus on aggregate goals. That fall Matt made his first appearance for Team USA in a 2018 World Cup qualifier. He had previously appeared for America’s U-18 and U-20 squads. Because of his parents’ Polish heritage, he was also highly coveted by Poland’s national team.

The Red Bulls were impressed by how Matt raised his game when he was challenged by the league’s best players. His physical presence and his passion were also big pluses. The team tried to lock him up with a lucrative Designated Player contract, but Matt opted to go to Europe to keep improving his game. He signed with Chlesea of the Premier League and suited up for his first match a few months later, in February 2016.

Chelsea felt that Matt needed a little more seasoning, so the club loaned him to SBV Vitesse, one of the best clubs in the Netherlands, for the 2016–17 season, along with Nathan and Lewis Baker, a pair of promising young midfielders. Matt scored his first goal for Vitesse in a December match against Jodan Boys, which was part of the KNVB Cup league tournament. Matt helped the Vitas win the KNVB Cup in the spring of 2017, defeating AZ Alkmaar 2–0. It marked the first major trophy for Vitesse in its history, which dates back to 1892.

 

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