Matt Miazga

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LIVE! USMNT meets Jamaica in friendly

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The kids are getting another chance to leave an impression on Gregg Berhalter, with one player making his full debut in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. ET kickoff against Jamaica.

[ FOLLOW: USMNT v. Jamaica ]

San Jose’s Jackson Yueill will be in the midfield for his first cap, working with Wil Trapp, Cristian Roldan, Paul Arriola, and Djordje Mihailovic.

Josh Sargent is up top, while the back line consists of Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Miazga, and Antonee Robinson in front of Zack Steffen.

The USMNT will play Venezuela on Sunday before opening its Gold Cup campaign with Guyana on Tuesday.

Miazga opens up on Sala: “We lined up together in the same shirt”

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USMNT and Chelsea center back Matt Miazga lifted the lid on a tumultuous season which had little do with the on-field part of soccer.

Speaking with Goal.com, Miazga opened up on his truncated loan at Ligue 1 side Nantes, current run at Reading, and the key figures as he tries to earn more Premier League playing time.

[ MORE: Analyzing the UCL draw ]

But he also spoke about the tragic plane accident that claimed the lives of two including his former teammate Emiliano Sala.

Miazga said he prays for Sala and his family, in reflecting on the striker with Goal.com’s Nizaar Kinsella:

“I knew him for six months, we lined up together in the same shirt, fought together, travelled together, ate together, trying to win football matches,” Miazga said. “We spoke French, and he let me practice my French. It is very, very sad. Rest in peace. No one wants to see it happen, especially to someone you know. You would never think it could happen in 2019. A good guy, a good player which was shown by his big-money Premier League transfer.”

It’s tough to read. Losing a co-worker is one thing, but the bonds of sport seem to stitch themselves together a little tighter.

USMNT’s Matt Miazga loaned to Reading

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U.S. men’s national team defender Matt Miazga has joined Reading on loan until the end of the season.

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Miazga, 23, had been on loan from Chelsea to Ligue 1 side Nantes but he last featured for the French side in October. The New York Red Bulls academy product has instead joined second-tier Reading until the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Royals, a favorite club for Chelsea to loan players out to, currently sit third from bottom in the Championship and are in a real relegation scrap after they fired Paul Clement and hired Jose Gomes in December. They are two points from safety.

Speaking about this move, Gomes is keen to work with Miazga.

“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,” Gomes said.

Reading have also added four more loan players this month with Nathan Baker also arriving from Chelsea, plus they’ve brought in Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal, Nelson Oliveira from Norwich and Ovie Ejaria from Liverpool.

Miazga needs to play and he will get plenty of opportunities at Reading, who have 18 games left in their league season. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter will be keeping a keen eye on Miazga ahead of the friendly against Chile in March, which will see the new head coach able to call up players from European leagues for the first time.

Long-term Miazga was supposed to be a star at center back for the U.S. alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers and John Brooks, but you have to say the latter is the only one of the trio to kick on in recent months. Both Miazga and CCV have fallen victim to being signed for big clubs in the Premier League and being loaned out, while not getting regular minutes.

Miazga was bought by Chelsea in January 2016 and played in two PL games in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but was then loaned out to their feeder club, Vitesse Arnhem in Holland for two seasons. Miazga thrived in Holland, winning the Dutch Cup in 2016-17 and he was a regular in both of his campaigns in the Dutch top-flight. However at Nantes he played in nine games early this season but was then frozen out after a new manager, Vahid Halilhodzic, arrived.

Here’s hoping that he can play regularly at Reading and get himself ready for a big summer with the USMNT with the Gold Cup coming up.

U.S. Soccer announces Player of the Year nominees

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The USMNT’s 2018 Player of the Year is going to be one of the new breed, while the USWNT’s list of nominees is a bit unusual as well.

Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Matt Miazga, Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp are the men vying to become the fifth different name to win the Male Player of the Year in as many seasons.

[ USMNT: Player ratings | 3 things ]

There are three players on the Female list to have won the award in previous years with Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath, and Alex Morgan having laid claim to the honor. Megan Rapinoe and Lindsey Horan are the other two nominees.

The two teams could hardly have had more different years, as the USWNT was undefeated behind a prolific season from Morgan.

The men stalled as U.S. Soccer failed to enlist a full-time coach, leaving interim coach Dave Sarachan to meld new players into a “part-time” system.

Steffen is probably the favorite to win the men’s award, though Miazga and McKennie had some high-profile moments in red, white, and blue. Trapp is beloved by the staff and could grab the award as well, while Adams seems a true long shot.

Report: Nantes ponders cancelling Miazga loan for poor play

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According to independent French journalist Mohamed Toubache-Ter, Ligue 1 club FC Nantes is considering cancelling the loan of Matt Miazga during the January transfer window due to poor play.

Toubache-Ter was first to the news that Miazga would go out on loan from Chelsea this summer, originally thought to be to fellow French side Caen before Nantes came in last-minute with a better offer.

Since arriving on August 6 and riding the bench during the season opener, Miazga has played the full 90 minutes in every league match for the club before a yellow card suspension served on October 20. However, the 23-year-old was dropped out of the squad completely for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Amiens, and was not included in the Nantes squad for the club’s upcoming Coupe de la Ligue match at Montpellier on Tuesday. It was reported that he was not present with the team at the airport for the trip.

Miazga has been an important part of the recent USMNT youth reload, and he has played well overall in his seven caps over the last calendar year since the United States missed out on World Cup qualification. However, at Nantes, the club sits in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table and has conceded 17 goals, three behind Amiens for most in the French top flight.

Cancelling a loan deal is somewhat complicated, and often results in a penalty fee being paid and it could sour relationships for future loans. Therefore, this is far from a certain thing. However, if the front office feels like Miazga’s presence is hurting the team or better options are likely on the way in January, the club may feel making the move is worth any potential hassle.

Miazga’s competition at Nantes includes the pair that started the Amiens match – 25-year-old Brazilian Diego Carlos and 28-year-old Senegalese CB Kara Mbodji – plus 31-year-old Frenchman Nicolas Pallois who was on the bench for that league tussle. All three were included in the Coupe de la Ligue squad for this week.

The American was originally sent out on loan because he was considered nowhere near the current Chelsea squad that includes David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Gary Cahill.