On the eve of Olympic qualifying for the United States under-23 team, one of their most talented players has received some high praise from its head coach and USMNT assistant Andi Herzog.
New York Red Bulls center back Matt Miazga is having a phenomenal season in Major League Soccer and was able to showcase that talent this summer in the U-20 World Cup. Herzog believes that the 20-year-old is only a matter of months away from getting his first senior national team call up.
"He has a future in the Men's National Team in the next couple of months — not years," Herzog told reporters on Wednesday.
"That is what he has to prove. He is playing a big part in one of the best teams in the league for the New York Red Bulls. I expect a lot of him to be a key player and very vocal in the backline. For him, it should be an advantage that he is already a starter in the MLS and competes with the best players in North America. That is what I expect from him."
For Miazga, this will undoubtedly be the most crucial stretch of matches of his young career. Not only is he looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann, but he could potentially be auditioning for scouts from across Europe.
According to Sports Illustrated, Miazga only has one year left on his MLS contract, and is very interested in exploring his opportunities abroad. He already possesses a Polish passport which would make it very easy for him to move unlike a lot of other young Americans who have worries of acquiring a work permit.
Miazga is a giant defender who has vastly improved as a soccer player over the last calendar year. With the USMNT's center back depth severely lacking, there is certainly a spot for him. It's up to him to continue his fine form and earn the call up from Klinsmann.