Slightly lost in last week's brouhaha over Tim Cahill's thoughts on playing for club and country, Red Bull GmbH's long-term plans for its investment in MLS, and the New York Red Bulls' abject journey through El Salvador and LA, was the cheering news that Matt Miazga has been called up to the latest US U-23 Men's National Team.
This is, of course, the age group destined to contest the next Olympic soccer tournament. Miazga is currently 19, and he won't age out of the U-23 team until 2018. But there is no Olympic tournament in 2018, so it is encouraging to see his name among the latest batch of 21 players called up for a quick trip to Brazil.
He might one day be asked to compete in an Olympics as one of the over-age players typically allowed in each squad, but 2016 is Miazga's only shot at making the quadrennial tournament as part of the U-23 contingent.
Being named to one squad for a friendly is no guarantee of anything, especially since the brains behind figuring out how to qualify for Brazil 2016 are still mostly just checking on options.
Miazga is one of 12 players who were not part of the last U-23 camp (which involved a trip to the Bahamas in early August). And this squad includes 16-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, who might be considered a better bet for the 2020 Olympic team.
Still, it is good to be on the radar. Miazga has options: he is also qualified to play for Poland. This call-up suggests US Soccer is mindful of the potential for the young dual-international's head to be swayed by a competing claim from another national team. A glimpse of what may lie ahead if he keeps working within the US system certainly does no harm to the player, the federation, or (since he hasn't been playing much for Mike Petke recently) RBNY.
The US U-23 MNT departs for Brazil on October 9, trains from 10/10 to 10/12, and plays a Brazilian U-23 selection on Monday, October 13, at 6 pm (Eastern; 7 pm local time) in Brasilia's Estadio Nacional.
Miazga will not be available for the Red Bulls' October 11 match against Toronto FC.