Everton's Tim Howard backs USA teammate Matt Miazga for success at Chelsea

Tim Howard USA

The 20-year-old American centre-back made his Premier League bow for the Blues in Saturday's 4-0 win at Aston Villa.

Speaking in a Facebook Q&A with mlssoccer.com, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has backed fellow US international Matt Miazga to prove a big hit at Chelsea down the line.

Miazga, 20, originally joined Chelsea from the New York Red Bulls in late-January after enjoying a breakout 2015 season in MLS, but it was not until this weekend that he made his much-anticipated debut for the club.

The highly-rated American centre-back played the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s comfortable 4-0 win at Premier League bottom-dwellers Aston Villa and earned some impressive reviews for his calm and composed performance.

As a clear long-term project, it remains to be seen how much more first-team action the one-time capped defender will see over the rest of the season, but Howard is optimistic that he will go on to have a long and successful top-flight career with the Blues.

Speaking before his compatriot made his Chelsea bow, the soon-to-be Colorado Rapids stopper told mlssoccer.com: “I’m excited for Matt. It’s feather in all of our caps. I think when any US player signs abroad for a big European club, it excites us. You want to see him do well and hope he gets an opportunity.

“I’m excited and I’m also cautiously optimistic. I know the pitfalls of what it’s like to have ups and downs when you’re trying to be successful in your career and have longevity, and that’s probably what I wish for him the most – not only success but sustained longevity over the course of his career.”

Miazga initially began his career in the Red Bulls' academy at under-14 level before eventually signing a Homegrown contract with the club in March 2013 after rising through the development ranks.

The New Jersey native, who holds a Polish passport by way of his parents, featured just eight times for the club during his first two MLS campaigns but established himself as a full-time starter last term, making 30 regular season appearances while helping Jesse Marsch’s men win the Supporters’ Shield.

His promising performances earned him his international debut as a second-half substitute in November’s opening World Cup qualifier against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, before he was later named US Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year.

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