Matt Miazga makes Chelsea debut after choosing pro over college
It's the dilemma that is facing more and more of America's most talented young players - college or pro?
The traditional U.S. route of playing for a 4-year college before moving to the pro level is increadingly being challenged by potential stars of the future who just don't want to wait.
The latest is Matt Miazga, now 20, who signed a letter of intent to play for the Michigan Wolverines men's soccer program in 2013 only to change his mind before heading to Ann Arbor to play for head coach Chaka Daley and deciding to play pro for the New York Red Bulls.
He made his first team debut at 18 as a sub in a 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in September, 2013 and he established himself as a starter last season.
If he needed any vindication that he made the right move, Miazga joined Premier League club Chelsea on January 30, 2016, on a four-and-a-half year deal said to be worth $5 million.
Last weekend, he made history as the first American in history to play in a Premier League game for Chelsea when he started in the 4-0 win over bottom club Aston Villa on Saturday, April 2.
Miazga, from Clifton, New Jersey, joined the New York Red Bulls Academy in 2009 at under-14 level. While with the under-16 side, he helped the Red Bulls win the U.S. Developmental Academy National Championship in 2012.
The defender earned his first senior U.S. national team cap against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on November 13, 2015, coming on as a 63rd-minute substitute in a 6–1 win at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.