First things first as I type up this opinion of the soon to be going centerback of the New York Red Bulls. I don't frown upon anyone trying to move to a better league and becoming a better player. We all know that Matt Miazga has a bright future ahead of him and being apart of the US youth national teams as well as that next progression of him going to the Senior level and earning his first cap under Jurgen Klinsmann is a big moment.
But when you are playing professional soccer and seeing him mature quickly as he did when Ronald Zubar was suppose to be the one next to Damien Perrinelle and got injured for the majority of the season, Miazga answered the questions that were being asked of him. But while I'm not questioning his ability on the pitch, I am questioning his emotional reactions on the pitch.
All season long he has shown the ability to take on the best of the best in Major League Soccer and to see him make several fantastic tackles as well as scoring his first professional goal at Yankee Stadium against NYCFC was some great stuff from the young prospect for the US Men's National Team. But the negative we have seen from Miazga till the playoffs was his immaturity towards the on field officials.
Everytime Miazga would get whistled for a foul, his next move would be to move towards the referee and complain about how his tackle was not a foul or it was a clean challenge. He would either get booked for his added conversations or sent off depending on if it was a 2nd yellow or a straight red. While he did end his arguments with the referees during the playoffs, there is still a bit of a worry that he might be doing it again.
We remember his first couple of starts when Mike Petke was the head coach and was apart of that historical victory at Gillette Stadium when the Red Bulls finally earned a win at the home of the Revolution. But as the season went on and he was starting on the backline, you saw some cracks in his game and how raw his abilities are.
But when he was pressed into action after Zubar got a leg injury in the season opener at Sporting Kansas City, Miazga has played lights out and improved his play with speed and smarts. Still Miazga is threatening to leave and he has already declined the offers from Sporting Director Ali Curtis that says he wants to make the move to Europe now.
We have seen this before from former Red Bulls Centerback Tim Ream who made the move to Europe after two seasons in MLS when he went to Bolton Wanderers and now with Fulham in England. While I thought at the time it was too early for Ream to make a big move like this, he has worked well to be a mainstay in English Football.
But Ream has a few years ahead of Miazga and while I'm not doubting the physical and tactical play of Miazga, I am at the moment questioning the mental makeup right now. I think Miazga is rushing into a situation he can't afford to rush into. I understand the old adage of if your old enough your good enough to play this game, but can he handle it mentally is the real question.
If I was Matt and I know I'm not, but I think his best option right now is to remain in MLS and with the Red Bulls for just one more season if possible and then make the move. Being and playing as a professional for a season and a half in my view is just not enough to show those club sides in Europe that he is ready for that huge stage of club football.