Jersey’s Matt Miazga On Debut

Matt Miazga couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to make his Chelsea debut in the English Premier League on Saturday, helping earn a clean sheet, playing the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 drubbing of Premier League bottom dweller Aston Villa.

The first American to play in the Premier League for Chelsea, Miazga appeared to do fine on the back line for the Blues, who shut out an opponent for the first time in 11 matches, despite missing veteran defenders John Terry and Gary Cahill due to minor injuries. Miazga nearly scored in his debut, seeing a header saved by fellow American Brad Guzan.

The Clifton, N.J., native and Red Bulls product transferred to Stamford Bridge in January for a reported $5 million fee.

The 20-year-old was not the only youngster to make his Chelsea debut as Brazilian Pato scored the second goal at Villa Park. The on-loan Brazilian struck soon after coming on as a substitute, converting a fine penalty after he was brought down by Aly Cissokho. Two goals by Pedro and another from Ruben Loftus-Cheek also helped make it an easy victory for Guus Hiddink’s side.

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Matt Miazga was transferred from the Red Bulls to Chelsea in January.

Miazga was coming off playing both legs in the U.S. U-23 team’s 3-2 aggregate loss to Colombia in a last chance to earn an Olympic berth next summer in Rio. The center back made his U.S. senior team debut last fall.

Despite stopping an attempt by Miazga, fellow senior team member Guzan continued to have a rough season with Villa, allowing all four goals in the loss.

It is believed Chelsea is considering sending Miazga out on loan next season to give him valuable first-team time with another club, but if his performance Saturday is any indication, the Blues may decide to keep him at Stamford Bridge.