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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.

Report: Minnesota United turning to ex-Sunderland GK Mannone

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The goalkeeping competition at Minnesota United was set to be very interesting, with longtime MLS backstop Bobby Shuttleworth and promising rookie Dayne St. Clair joined by a third keep.

The potential identify of that third one makes the competition a little less open.

[ MORE: Man City favored by oddsmakers ]

The Loons will reportedly add former Arsenal and Sunderland backstop Vito Mannone on loan from Reading, says The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter.

Mannone, 30, is behind Emiliano Martinez — on loan from Arsenal — and journeyman Sam Walker has been No. 2 in recent weeks.

The keeper was a bright light for Sunderland in its relegation season two years ago, backing the club from top-to-bottom and staying very active in the community.

Mings won’t face suspension for bloody Oliviera injury

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Tyrone Mings‘ return to the stamping plant is not going to cost him further punishment.

Mings left Reading striker Nelson Oliveira‘s face a bloody mess in Aston Villa’s 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium this weekend.

[ MORE: Top Six fixtures, side-by-side ]

After getting tangled up at midfield, Oliveira was face-up on the turf as Mings brought his foot down squarely on the Reading player’s face.

The pictures, which you can find elsewhere, show Norwich City loanee Oliveira as a bloody mess with three deep cleat marks in his face. Those scars will be visible next time you see him in action.

The Aston Villa man, 25, is on loan from Bournemouth, and has been given little benefit of the doubt due to his history. You’ll probably remember Mings receiving a five-match ban for stepping on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head in a 2017 Premier League match between Manchester United and Bournemouth.

Mings, who has been defended by some Villa fans for being off balance and not looking at the stamp the same way some Cherries’ support backed him two years ago, will not face any more discipline because the referee saw the incident and did not proffer a card.

He is a fortunate, fortunate man.

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.

Reports: Klopp, Coleman, Meyler give big donations to Sean Cox fund

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Several familiar Premier League names, two from Merseyside, have contributed big donations to the GoFundMe page aimed at helping injured Liverpool supporter Sean Cox.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Everton fullback Seamus Coleman, and longtime Hull City man David Meyler (now at Reading) each have reportedly donated approximately $5700 to help Cox, who was attacked by AS Roma fans before a UEFA Champions League match at Anfield.

Coleman and Meyler play internationally for the Republic of Ireland, where Cox lives.

[ PL PREVIEW: Liverpool vs. Cardiff City ]

Cox’s wife Martina explained the long road to recovery for the Liverpool fan.

“He’s not sitting up. He can move himself up a little bit, but to put him into a wheelchair they have to use a hoist so that’ll tell you where he’s at,” said Martina.

There was also an anonymous $5,700 (5000 Euros) donation made today.

One of the Roma supporters was sentenced to three years in jail for his role in the attack.

Klopp dedicated the Reds’ run to the Champions League Final to Cox, and Roma wore shirts bearing his name in training.