As anticipated, Matt Miazga was handed his first start by Vitesse for the club's trip to AZ. The 21-year-old is deputizing for the injured Maikel van der Werff. His performance was received positively in both English and Dutch.
Lots of interception and blocks by Matt Miazga tonight. Defensively solid.— Lars (@VitesseCFC) October 15, 2016
My player ratings: Room 6 Leerdam 6 Kashia 6 Miazga 7 Kruiswijk 6 Nakamba 7 Baker 6 Foor 6 Rashica 4 Van Wolfswinkel 5 Tighadouini 6— Lars (@VitesseCFC) October 15, 2016
Miazga played near perfect for 80 minutes. MOTM type performance. The wheels fell off Vitesse as a whole under heavy AZ pressure— RedBullGlobalTolstoy (@TolstoyFC) October 15, 2016
Maar serieus; Matt Miazga. Wat een fijne, pure verdediger. Geen gekkigheid, hier en daar de beuk erin. Fingers crossed dat die blijft staan!— Mokkababy (@Ongeliefd) October 15, 2016
Unfortunately for Miazga and Vitesse, the 2-2 draw was frustrating. Though a point away from home against a good team is not a bad result, Vitesse held a 2-0 lead heading into the last 15 minutes of the match, thanks to goals from Lewis Baker and Ricky van Wolfswinkel. But AZ substitute Robert Muhren had a memorable day, entering the game in the 60th minute and scoring in the 78th and 87th. His brace saved the game for AZ, salvaging a point and holding the team's position above Vitesse in the Eredivisie standings.
Miazga was picked out for post-match chat by Vitesse TV, and he told the club's YouTube channel that the team was taking positives from the result: "We're going to learn from this, I think this will make us stronger and we're hungry for more."
Next up for Vitesse is another road trip, this time to NEC on October 23.
If Miazga has been keeping up with his former club, MLS' New York Red Bulls, he will know the dropped two-goal lead has threatened to define RBNY's season this year. He will hope this result is as close as Vitesse gets to having much in common with the Red Bulls' problems defending from 2-0 up.
Miazga, of course, is a Chelsea player now. His loan to Vitesse may or may not have any significant impact on his prospects with the Blues next season. But it will potentially affect his future for his national team. USA Men's National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed he is waiting for Miazga to get regular starts at club level before contemplating another call-up for the defender.
If Miazga can put together a string of starts for Vitesse while van der Werff recovers from his injury, perhaps the American will return to USMNT in the not-too distant future.