Defender Miazga returns to MLS with FC Cincinnati

Sports

CINCINNATI (AP) — FC Cincinnati has acquired center back Matt Miazga from Premier League club Chelsea.

Miazga, who has also played for the U.S. national team, signed a contract that will keep him in Cincinnati through 2025 with an option for 2026.

Miazga has been with Chelsea since 2016, but made just two appearances with the team. He spent most of his time with the Blues on loan and most recently made 11 appearances on loan with the Spanish side Alaves last season.

Miazga, 27, previously played in Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls from 2013 to 2015.

A New Jersey native, Miazga has made 22 appearances with the United States but has not played for the team since two games early last year. He scored once with the team, against Nicaragua in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“He’s got a unique set of experiences in that he’s got clear experience all across Europe and in top leagues, and has won over there,” Cincinnati general manager Chris Albright said at a news conference Friday. “But the differentiating factor was his knowledge of MLS and him having won something here. And I think the more that we went through the process and learned about Matt, the sort of person and competitor, it made us more motivated to get the deal done.”

Cincinnati acquired Miazga with the No. 1 spot in the league’s allocation order and used targeted allocation money, which can be used to pay salary and fund acquisition costs of a player whose costs are above the salary cap charge.

Cincinnati is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings and angling to make the playoffs for the first time since joining MLS in 2019.

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