USA international Matt Miazga (#2) is the second prominent defender from CONCACAF to be acquired by England's Chelsea in the last five months. (Photo: Mexsport)
LONDON – United States international Matt Miazga's meteoric rise continued Saturday as the New York Red Bulls transferred the center back to Chelsea FC of the English Premier League.
The 20-year-old, who left a national team training camp to join his new club, made 38 appearances for the Major League Soccer side.
"I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, a world-famous club with a reputation for major success," said Miazga. "I am delighted to be in the Premier League, the best league in the world, and can't wait to meet my teammates and get going. I am still at the beginning of my career, but I believe this is the place to develop and learn from some of the best players in the world."
Miazga was named the 2015 U.S. Soccer young male player of the year, capping off a breakout year that saw him earn his first international cap in a World Cup qualifier against St. Vincent & the Grenadines on November 13. He also played in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship (5 games, 0 goals), the FIFA U-20 World Cup (4 games, 0 goals) and the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship (4 games, 1 goal). In 2014, Miazga appeared in one Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match.
"It is a bittersweet day for the New York Red Bulls," Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis said. "We are very happy for Matt to get the opportunity but it is tough to see him leave after coming through our academy to the first team – there is a different feel when one of your homegrown players leaves.”
Chelsea acquired another CONCACAF defender – Jamaica international Michael Hector – from Reading on September 1, 2015, but loaned him back to the English Championship squad for the remainder of the 2015/16 season.