24 Under 24: #5 Matt Miazga, New York Red Bulls

Matt Miazga | Defender | New York Red Bulls | Age: 20

Last Year in 24 Under 24: n/a

2015 Stats: Matches played: 24 - Goals: 1 - Assists: 0

Matt Miazga full bio and stats

Somehow, at the age of just 20, it seems like Miazga has already dealt with it all. Track down Sebastian Giovinco along the touchline? Check. Stand David Villa up at the edge of the box? Check. Battle Kei Kamara in an aerial duel up in the stratosphere? Check.

Miazga has had the tools and talent to handle all of the above like a seasoned pro, even though this is just his first season as an MLS starter. He also threw in a trip to the FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinals, swung for the fences at Yankee Stadium, and will next be aiming for the Olympics. As teammate Dax McCarty said, "You can see that he's got everything he needs to be an elite player, and not just in this league."

What the technical staffers say: "That kid is every bit the pro – it’s the way his mind is wired. Even talking to him when he was 16, he had one thing on his mind, and it was to be a pro. He’s a junky – it's all soccer, it's only soccer. He’s got the frame for it, he’s got the mentality for it. His IQ, his positional sense is – in my opinion – superior to anyone else in the league at his age.

"Miazga is the most promising young defender in our league. The other guys [his age] are good, but he's out there by himself."

What Opta Sports says: Matt Miazga ranks fifth in all of MLS this season in duels won (170) and sixth in clearances (162). The Red Bulls average 2.2 points per game with him in the starting lineup this year and just 0.3 points per game when he does not start.

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