Matt Miazga

European journeyman Matt Miazga finally ended more than six years of European travels, signing with MLS club FC Cincinnati on a long-term contract.

Cincinnati confirmed the signing on their website on Friday, confirming that his new contract runs until the end of the 2025 season, with an additional option for 2026.

This ends six and a half years of travels around Europe and the UK for for the New Jersey-born central defender, after transferring to English club Chelsea FC in January, 2016.

During his time on the Chelsea books, Miazga only took the field for the Blues on two occasions, however he did play varying amounts for five different teams in five countries.

Perhaps his most steady time was during the two seasons he spent with Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivie, where he played in 55 league games while netting three goals. Most recently, he spent a season in Spain’s La Liga with a disastrous Alavés team that finished last place in the division.

While he did appear in 11 league games for the team, his playing time quickly dwindled after a run of starts in the first few months of the season.

In Cincinnati, he is joining a team that is struggling to reach the playoff spots in their fourth season after entering MLS as an expansion team in 2018. They do need an upgrade on defense, having allowed 42 goals through 23 games, second-worst in the Eastern Conference.

“Matt is a dominant defender that has a wealth of experience internationally and across numerous leagues in Europe,” Cincinnati’s General Manager Chris Albright said in the announcement, adding “but his knowledge of what it takes to compete and win in MLS, along with his high character and mentality, are what drew us to this opportunity.”

“We feel he’s an excellent fit to the group that we’re building, and we are delighted to bring him to FC Cincinnati.”

Miazga has also been an occasional selection for the USMNT, where he has 22 appearances since making his debut in 2015, and provided one of the most memorable USA vs. Mexico photo moments of all time.

With the center back position still somewhat in a state of flux following the injury to Miles Robinson, Miazga will likely be aiming for a strong run of games in August and September to warrant an unlikely look from head coach Gregg Berhalter in the upcoming pair of friendly games against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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