Matt Miazga is headed out on loan again.
The U.S. men’s national team center back is leaving parent club Chelsea for a season-long spell at Anderlecht, the fourth temporary club away from Stamford Bridge for the 25-year-old since he joined Chelsea from the New York Red Bulls in 2016.
After stints with Vitesse, Nantes and Reading, Miazga heads to Belgium, where he’ll play for a center back great in Vincent Kompany, who retired to fully focus on management. Anderlecht has been the home to U.S. talent before, with Sacha Kljestan and Kenny Saief previously playing for the club, and Miazga joins just before Monday’s transfer window deadline.
It’s an important season for Miazga, with the USMNT’s top center back tandem not fully set and with multiple competitions on the horizon next year. There will be ample opportunity to get in manager Gregg Berhalter’s good graces before World Cup qualifying presumably begins in September 2021, but he has to play–and play well–in order to take part. Miazga was a significant part of the U.S. defense in 2019, starting in all seven of his appearances, including the semifinals and final of the Gold Cup.
Berhalter’s top choices for center backs in 2019 were John Brooks, Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman and Miazga, with Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez also factoring into the picture. Miazga has 18 caps and one goal in his national team career.
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