Mix Diskerud

  • DOB October 2, 1990
  • Age 27
  • Place of birth Oslo, Norway
  • POSITION Midfielder
  • HEIGHT 6'0"
  • WEIGHT 150
  • U.S. CAPS 36
  • CLUB New York City FC
  • TWITTER @mixdiskerud (355K followers)
  • Current ASN 100 Rank 80
  • Previous ASN 100 Rank Unranked
  • Youth Experience U-20, U-23
Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud has a soft demeanor, a sweet, constantly smiling face, and an on-field vision that makes him a threat whenever he has the ball. The midfielder, the son of an American mother and a Norwegian father, spent his youth in his dad's home country and credits another sport for developing his field sense: basketball. "Playing point guard gave me an advantage to read plays early on the soccer field as a center midfielder. It helped me a lot," he told ESPN.

And now he will suit up for MLS expansion club New York City FC—a franchise and a town that seems to be a perfect fit for the charismatic Diskerud.

Diskerud suited up for the U.S. U-20 team against Northern Ireland in 2008, but also played for Norway's youth sides that year. He might never have returned to the Stars and Stripes were it not for a fortuitous encounter with the American team. "[Then U-20 coach Thomas Rongen and I] met at the Chivas Tournament in Mexico. The U.S. team wanted to play Stabæk’s juniors for a friendly after we exited the tourney. Rongen spotted me, came over, and asked for my nationality as I was about to take a corner kick for Stabæk against the USA. It was the weirdest corner preparation I have had. We didn't score on that corner. Maybe he did," he told Goal.com.

Diskerud quickly rose through the American system, earning a start in the 2009 U-20 World Cup and his first full national team cap in South Africa on November 17, 2010. (Also getting his first senior team appearance that day: Juan Agudelo.) Diskerud also started on the U-23 team that failed to qualify for the 2012 World Cup, showing off creativity and a growing understanding with the midfielders and forwards on that team.

Where the player ends up on the U.S. depth chart still remains to be settled as well. Diskerud has long been heralded as a future standout for the Yanks—and has impressed in his limited action with the full team—and his stock has gradually risen since an impressive 2013 Gold Cup and continuing call-ups with the top team after that tournament. He was among the 23 that made the World Cup roster in Brazil but never took off his warm-ups despite the Americans obvious need for more service, in theory a Diskerud strength.

After years of U.S. teams longing for more of a creative spark from its central midfielders, it is not without irony that the biggest knock on Diskerud is that he doesn’t play enough defense—or play it well enough—to be left on the field for long stretches against better teams.

But with Jurgen Klinsmann clamoring for the U.S. to be more proactive and possession-oriented in attack during the 2018 World Cup cycle, Diskerud would seem an ideal fit behind the forwards, provided he continues to develop alongside Frank Lampard and David Villa.—BROOKE TUNSTALL

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