U.S. national team defender Matt Miazga, 20, became the first American to play for Chelsea on Saturday.
[ MORE: Miazga Watch – How’d he do? ]
Miazga impressed as he played the full 90 minutes at center back in his debut for the reigning Premier League champions.
Speaking to the club website after the game the New York Red Bulls academy product was happy to get his first minutes in a Chelsea shirt.
“It was a good debut for me, I’m happy to contribute to the team and now I have to work hard in training to keep trying to get more chances,” Miazga said. “I found out in the morning I would be in the starting 11. It’s my job, my profession and I have to be ready when I am called upon and show the manager I can contribute and help the club.”
After joining Chelsea in January from Major League Soccer, Miazga was thrown in by interim boss Guus Hiddink alongside other youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kenedy with Chelsea’s top four hopes all but over as they sit 10 points behind fourth place with seven games to go.
[ MORE: Hiddink – “Miazga had a proper game” ]
With Kurt Zouma out with a long-term knee injury, the future of veteran captain John Terry uncertain as his contract expires this summer and a new manager arriving (believed to be Antonio Conte, but not yet confirmed) at Stamford Bridge, maybe the New Jersey native has a growing role to play at center back for Chelsea’s first team in the coming months.
It’s likely that Miazga will get a few more run outs in the final seven games of the season as Chelsea wind down a disappointing 2015-16. He certainly did his chances of getting more minutes under his belt no harm at all with a composed display on Saturday.
Even though Miazga handled the challenge of the PL’s bottom club comfortably, there will be much greater challenges ahead.