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Matt Miazga

New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan (16) leaves the field with a bloody nose after a loss against the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena. (Bill Streicher)
New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan (16) leaves the field with a bloody nose after a loss against the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena. (Bill Streicher)

The Red Bulls were beaten in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs before they stepped on the field.

There is no way the front office could have known, neither could have Jesse Marsch. The players certainly didn't know, but that doesn't make it any less true. The Montreal Impact knew how they were going to beat the Red Bulls, and they were built this season to execute it. 

"We knew they're a weak team in the playoffs," Ignacio Piatti, a striker for the Impact told reporters after the match. "They showed that last year, this year."

The New York Red Bulls are built on a pressing system. It is controlled chaos that works to exploit teams by catching them off guard when they turn the ball over, especially close to the opponent's goal. The Red Bulls have employed this system for two years, presenting plenty of opportunities for teams to learn how to neutralize it.

Tags: Bradley Wright Phillips, Connor Lade, Damien Perrinelle, Dax McCarty, Gonzalo Veron, Kemar Lawrence, Lloyd Sam, Matt Miazga, Mike Grella, Sacha Kljestan, Sean Davis
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The New York Red Bulls cheer with their fans after a goal against the Orlando City FC during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports Images)
The New York Red Bulls cheer with their fans after a goal against the Orlando City FC during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports Images)

SNY.tv's Red Bulls writers Aaron Bauer and Brendan Joseph discuss why last year's two best regular season teams are in different places in 2016.

Aaron Bauer: So the Red Bulls play FC Dallas this Friday. This is a funny game because of how similar these teams were in 2015. They were both at the top of the league at the end of last year's regular season, tied on points, and showed a commitment to playing young players from their respective academies. They were both expected to compete for MLS Cup regularly for the next few years. Now, only Dallas has held up its end of the bargain, and the Red Bulls are trying to get on solid footing this year. What the heck happened?

Brendan Joseph: First, as must be stated with everything related to the Red Bulls right now, they were and continue to be devastated by injuries. Losing Gideon Baah and Gonzalo Veron, two players who were acquired with relatively large transfer fees and were expected to be starters, created gaps in the squad. The team trained for most of the preseason expecting to make the jump from the 4-2-3-1 to the 4-2-2-2 using Veron as a striker and Baah as a center back. Combine the injury issues and early-season rust with opposing teams parking the bus, and they are a team with two wins in eight matches.

Tags: Bradley Wright Phillips, Damien Perrinelle, FC Dallas, Karl Ouimette, Lloyd Sam, Matt Miazga, Mike Grella, Ronald Zubar, Sean Davis, Aaron Bauer , Brendan Joseph
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Matt Miazga (20) during the first half of MLS Playoffs game against D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. (Noah K. Murray)
Matt Miazga (20) during the first half of MLS Playoffs game against D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. (Noah K. Murray)

Chelsea says it has signed U.S. international defender Matt Miazga from the New York Red Bulls on a four-and-a-half year contract.

The 20-year-old central defender is a product of the Red Bulls academy, which he joined in 2009. He made his senior debut for the United States in a 6-1 win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a World Cup qualifier last November.

Miazga told Chelsea's website that he is "delighted to be in the Premier League, the best league in the world, and can't wait to meet my teammates and get going."

Tags: Matt Miazga
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New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga (20) acknowledge the New York Red Bulls fans after win against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. (Eric Hartline)
New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga (20) acknowledge the New York Red Bulls fans after win against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. (Eric Hartline)

Clifton, New Jersey native and current New York Red Bulls player Matt Miazga will be transferred to Chelsea of the English Premier League, according to reports.

Miazga will go to Chelsea for a reported $5 million transfer fee, according to ESPN FC (Jan. 27).

The 20-year-old had been a member of the Red Bulls Academy since 2009. He signed his first Homegrown Player contract with the team on May 30, 2013.

Tags: Matt Miazga
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