Ever since Danny Williams left Reading FC and moved up to the Premier League with Huddersfield Town, there has been a hole in my heart. I will always love the Royals, especially for their history of signing American players, but I have been yearning for a Yank to put on the blue and white hoops since Williams’ departure. I of course was hoping for the return of Andrija Novakovich, who I was lucky enough to see play in Philadelphia for the US last year. However, that was not meant to be.
Instead I walked to my desk at work and saw a number of notifications and text messages on my phone. It was more than normal so I checked through them... and almost leapt through the ceiling! Reading had signed the 23 year-old American Matt Miazga on loan for the remainder of the season! Any American soccer (sorry I mean football) supporter knows who he is. Hell, he has given many of us our favorite memory on any pitch in the last year, when he made it clear how he felt about one of Mexico’s up and coming stars.
Miazga is tall, strong and passionate, but most importantly for me, he is American. It means something to see a club that you love so much embrace a player from your country, especially when your country is constantly looked down on in the world of football. The US did not qualify for the World Cup and our federation is in major transition, but at least a few of us here in the States can forget all of that for a little while because our club has signed one of us!
Miazga will join the likes of Marcus Hahnemann, Bobby Convey and Danny Williams in coming to the Madejski Stadium. These are three players that have all had an impact with US soccer and are known to almost every Royals supporter.
I cannot say whether Miazga will live up to them or if he will last longer than the 18 matches he has signed for, but I can tell you this. For the next few hours, days and hopefully weeks, more US soccer (sorry again, football) supporters will have an eye on Reading FC and how Miazga does, and that is enough to keep a smile on my face for a while. As a Reading fan I am sure we can all agree that has been hard to come by recently.
So now it’s 18 matches for our new number 19 to help keep us up. Good luck to Matt Miazga and welcome to Reading!