Club: NYCFC (MLS)
A year ago, Mix Diskerud was one of the most highly regarded creative players in the United States Men’s National Team player pool. These days, he’s barely sneaking into New York City FC’s game day squads. So what happened to a player who was very recently a breakout candidate, one who came to the MLS as a premier signing just 18 months ago?
It’s a tough question to answer, especially considering Diskerud’s career path to this point. Born in Oslo, Norway, to an American mother and a Norwegian father, Diskerud began his youth career with local club Frigg Oslo FK. He joined Stabaek’s setup after being discovered at a district tournament in Oslo in 2005 and rose through the ranks of the club, located in an Oslo suburb, before making his senior debut in May 2008 in a Norwegian Cup game. He made his league debut early in the 2009 season, coming on with about 10 minutes to go and promptly equalizing for Stabaek.
It was during his time with Rosenborg that Diskerud became a full-fledged member of the U.S. national team. He was discovered by American scouts while playing for a Norway youth side in 2008 and made his USMNT senior debut in 2010, when he was still with Stabaek. In 2012, he took advantage of his third-ever cap, scoring a stoppage-time equalizer against Russia after entering as a substitute, which propelled Diskerud into the first team setup on a more consistent basis.
He rode that wave of momentum to some great times with the USMNT from 2013-15. He was a key cog in the 2013 Gold Cup winning side, then made the trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, although he didn’t play in the tournament. By the end of that competition, Diskerud was widely considered one of the brightest young creative outlets in the USMNT pool, and the future looked extremely promising.
When Diskerud moved to the MLS and expansion franchise NYCFC in January 2015, he did so as a one of the younger stars making the move stateside, and
Throughout the course of this year, Diskerud’s playing time and influence on the pitch have both waned. He scored and assisted in NYCFC’s season-opening 4-3 win over Chicago and tallied another assist a week later in a draw with Toronto FC, but, since then, he has been held off the scoresheet in nine appearances. Diskerud did not make the USMNT roster for the Copa America, and he’s been squeezed out of the NYCFC starting lineup by the emergence of Tommy McNamara, who has settled into a key midfield role next to Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard. Diskerud hasn’t appeared in an MLS contest since June 2, and his only game time since then came in an embarrassing U.S. Open Cup loss to the New York Cosmos.
At this point, it’s clear Diskerud needs a change of scenery. He still has plenty to give to a club or the USMNT. Even as he’s struggled this season, he’s shown flashes of the playmaking ability, passing range and technical skill that made him so highly sought after not long ago. Diskerud can be effective in a certain role as long as a team isn’t expecting him to be something he isn’t, and as soon as he finds a spot where he can fit a bit better, he should be able to hit the ground running.
But, until that day, Diskerud looks likely to whittle away on NYCFC’s bench. For a player who is entering the prime of his career, that would be a massive waste. Diskerud needs minutes to get back into the USMNT picture, and he won’t get enough in New York. If he wants to further his career and get back on the right track of progress, Diskerud needs to figure a way to get to a new team as soon as possible, whether that be another MLS side or a European club. Regardless of where he goes, the fact is he needs to go somewhere else.