Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that USA international Matt Miazga has joined the Royals’ ranks on loan from Chelsea until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
The 23-year-old former New York Red Bulls defender now becomes our fifth loan acquisition of the transfer window, having successfully completed a medical this morning before putting pen to paper on terms at Hogwood Park.
Manager José Gomes said, “Matt is a skilful, committed and commanding presence at the centre of defence and I am very pleased we have been able to welcome him into our family. I am now looking forward to working with him on the training pitch for the first time.”
New Jersey-born Miazga began his playing career as an Under-14 when he joined the New York Red Bulls Academy in 2009 and he helped his club win the US Soccer Development Academy National Championship in 2012.
He turned professional and made his first-team debut at the age of 18 as a 76th minute substitute in a 4–1 win at Houston Dynamo the following year. His first goal came against local rivals New York City FC in a Hudson River derby win at Yankee Stadium.
Three years ago, Matt made the move to Europe by signing a four-and-a-half year deal with Chelsea and when injury ruled out both John Terry and Gary Cahill, Miazga started for the Blues in a 4–0 Premier League victory away to Aston Villa.
In 2016-17, he spent the season on loan in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem and he made his Eredivisie debut in an away game against Twente - providing an assist for fellow Chelsea loanee and now Royals teammate Lewis Baker!
Matt himself found the back of the net in a KNVB Cup tie against Jodan Boys - a competition he would win that season following a 2-0 win over AZ Alkmaar in the final.
Miazga returned to the Netherlands for a second season at the GelreDome, before beginning another loan move overseas this summer - the 6’4” defender linked up with Ligue 1 side FC Nantes in August.
He returns from Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fontenau to begin a new challenge at Madejski Stadium, training with his new teammates for the first time on Friday ahead of a potential debut at Bolton on Tuesday night.
Aside from his domestic successes on both sides of the pond, Miazga has been a regular youth international with the USA and notably helped his country reach the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup in 2015.
Miazga earned his first senior cap against St Vincent and the Grenadines in November 2015 and has since won 11 caps in total, scoring his only international goal in a 3–0 group stage win over Nicaragua during a CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament which the USA won in 2017. His last cap came against England at Wembley in November.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe said, “Having already sourced extra quality in the form of a striker, two midfielders and a goalkeeper this month, I’m delighted that Matt now arrives to bolster our defensive ranks for the final 18 games of the season. Committed to our cause, I am confident he will be a real asset to the first team dressing room for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.”
Matt will take squad number 19 with the Royals. The loan naturally remains subject to the normal ratification procedures from the relevant football authorities.