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U.S. Men's National Team

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Mix Diskerud

Mix Diskerud

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

When U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Stuart Holden was forced to leave Sunday’s Gold Cup Final just 19 minutes into the match with a knee injury considered likely to be serious, the loss could have led to devastating circumstances in the Gold Cup Final. Mix Diskerud saw to it that the U.S. team didn’t miss a beat though, offering a stabilizing presence in central midfield that helped the Americans control and eventually win the final.

Even though he didn’t start and didn’t score in the USMNT’s 1-0 victory over Panama on Sunday, Diskerud’s Gold Cup-winning performance earned him SBI’s U.S. Men’s National Team Man of the Match honors.

Diskerud stood out the most on a day that featured solid performances from teammates Landon Donovan, Clarence Goodson, and Alejandro Bedoya as the USMNT won their fifth ever Gold Cup title.

While it can definitely be argued that some other players had more influential roles on Sunday, Diskerud’s ability to jump into the middle of a hard-fought match and settle in and ultimately be a force made him SBI’s choice for the honors.

Who did you think was the U.S. team’s best player vs. Panama? Cast your vote for Man of the Match after the jump:

  • Mix Diskerud
  • Alejandro Bedoya
  • Landon Donovan
  • Kyle Beckerman
  • Matt Besler
  • Joe Corona
  • Clarence Goodson

What did you think of Diskerud’s performance on Sunday? Who do you believe was the USMNT Man of the Match against Panama?

Share your thoughts below.

82 comments
  • Lost in Space

    So whom from this Gold Cup Squad raised their stock enough to join the “A” Squad….And who do they come in for? EJ, Goodson, Beasley, and Besler were already A teamers….so their inclusion doesn’t change.
    Donovan – either Zusi or F. Johnson (FJ drops to LB)
    Mixx – Kljestan
    Corona – Davis
    Orozco, Holden, Rimando, and Beckerman are callups if injuries/suspensions.

    Like

    • Nate

      I’m hoping that Castillo has demonstrated he should not be on the field. Don’t know why, but he just can’t hack it at the level the USMNT needs.

      Like

      • Al17

        He should have run out of opportunities to demonstrate a long, long time ago but nooo…ooooo….

        Like

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker

      Shea has played himself in the A team. Just needs to get back into form. Still rusty

      Like

      • Chris

        Yeah, I get the feeling that Shea is Klinsmann’s ace-in-the-hole player that he doesn’t use much, but throws into the mix if nothing else seems to be working.

        Like

      • JoshW

        exactly. remember david odonkor for germany? he was their joker when Klinsi was manager. my german friends laughed at how he always made an impact as a sub despite how bad he was technically. fast as hell.

        that’s one thing that is new about this US team versus years past (even versus the squad from the first Honduras game in the Hex), we’ve got a lot of guys on the bench for the A team who can make an impact on a big stage. I’d much rather bring Brek or EJ on against tired legs than Sacha (which is what we did to no effect against Honduras in the first game of the Hex).

        Like

      • beachbum

        kid came up big, got to give him and Coach credit, even more so for me considering how the GC started for him

        Like

      • CroCajun1003

        He brings something no one else in the pool has. No one’s saying he’ll start, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him reprise his “closer” role with the A squad.

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      • KGB

        +1. Shea is a unique midfield player with pace and size, he has a chance to make the World Cup roster because he can be an ideal 70th minute+ substitute. He did have some unfortunately rusty moments in the Gold Cup, but his upside is big.

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      • MLS_Soccer_Talker

        I dont think he starts. But he can provide a spark off the bench as showed in this tournament.

        Like

      • MN Footie

        Yes. I don’t think he’s developed enough to put in a full 90 minutes, which is unfortunate, because when he crosses, and it doesn’t fly a million miles away, it’s a beautiful sight.

        I think he deserves a role on the A team, but only in a 70’+ capacity, if needed. For now. Hopefully he improves, and that changes.

        Like

      • peterprinciple

        I’m going to step out on a limb and say Shea is who JK really wants on that left side. He is at least superior to Castillo. Shea needs to take his development a little more serious and get over this consistency hump. IMO the other LM options are not there for either of his goals in the tournament, his speed and instincts got him into those spaces. I don’t think Davis/Castillo do either. Fabian does, but FJ+BS better than FJ+DMB

        There is something to be said for the idea of him as “ace in the hole” especially considering Klinnsman track record with Alemania.

        Like

    • John

      The way I see it:
      Donovan for Zusi (Donovan is better at everything than Zusi – much better)
      Mix for Kljestan
      Corona for Davis
      Clarence Goodson may have surged ahead of Omar Gonzalez (decised during qualifiers)
      Rimando is clearly the 3rd keeper
      Beckerman shouldn’t make it but probably will
      I hope that Bedoya squeezes in.

      Like

      • peterprinciple

        Now way Goodson ahead of Gonzo. This was a B tourney, Gonzo not necessary. I will say they are both solid “A” options.

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    • dan

      2014 Brazil squad:

      ————————Altidore————————
      —–F Johnson—Dempsey—-Donovan——
      —————–Jones—Bradley——————-
      Beasley—Gonzalez–Besler——-Chandler
      ———————-Howard————————–

      Like

    • George

      haha yeah I’m shocked…I love Mix and think he’s going to Brazil but I think Ives isn’t the biggest fan

      Like

      • dan

        Ives isn’t the biggest fan of anything that doesn’t start with a Do and ends with a nut

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      • Mike R

        Ives is great at this …but his player evaluating leaves much to he desires among those he had pegged for stardom Marcus Tracy, Alstot, Soumare, Opara, Tim Ream, Rodney Wallace…..

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    • Jermaine

      Have to agree, had to stop listening to his podcast because he started sounding like he never watched the games…Mix is the truth.

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      • Ben

        Come on, I am a big believer in Mix, but it wasn’t like Ives was making unsreasonable points.

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      • Jermaine

        I just couldn’t agree with his assessments, they seemed from another time zone. It wasn’t how I saw the flow of the game. He basically called Mix a slacker on defense, when all I saw was a kid with pace that closed down the ball all the time. Who took cerebral angles and cut off passing lanes. In stark comparison to his take on Beckerman who to his credit had a hell of a tournament but his lack of pace to me was always worrying, who sometimes seemed a step behind the speed of play. Like when Blaz Perez just took the ball from his feet because he couldn’t make up his mind where he wanted to play next.

        Like

      • Zztoppppp

        Ives never said anything bad about Mix, he was just too busy praising Holden all the time to give a proper assessment of Mix’s play.

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      • Zztoppppp

        Ives never said anything bad about Mix, he was just too busy praising Holden all the time to give a proper a$$essment of Mix’s play.

        Like

  • Apple Pie

    Hard to argue with the decision. Not a lot of bad play from anyone per se, but solid across the board. Mixx came in and kept things going smoothly when Holden’s injury could have provided a turning point for Panama. This whole tournament was highlighted by moments of brilliance from many different places. Shea had two breakthrough goals, Corona as well, Wondo in the earlier stages, Beckerman changed a majority of peoples’ minds about him and then of course Donovan was a monster all tournament long. It was a very entertaining tournament and there are encouraging signs for the depth and future of the USMNT going forward. Klinsmann has got the full trust of almost every single U.S. supporter and I’m excited to see who gets called up for the Bosnia friendly(Brooks especially, that cat’s out of the bag). I think that we’ll even see some new faces in the mix, no pun intended because that kid deserves a rest.

    Like

    • Thatkidnandez

      Aron Johansson, Shawn Parker, Bobby Wood, Jack Mac, Julian Green, and Conor Obrien Shold get looks vs Bosnia. Really wish CD9 has a great season and pushes for a spot in the WC. Because man that jozy pairing was A+

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      • chris

        Conor O’brien and Lichaj defenitely deserve a look. O’Brien has looked really good in a decent league and is only 24.

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      • Vic

        What about Junior Flores and Ben Laderman? We should also see who the best player is on the under 8 team and give him a look(especially if he has dual nationality).

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      • j-style

        Julian Green has never played first team soccer — and you think he will get a senior call-up? As for CD9, he barely has a professional career and struggles for club minutes.

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      • ACS

        Boyd got called up before he played a senior team match, wasn’t even playing exhibitions with first team like Green was with Bayern. Plus 3 goals and 3 assists in 2 games in the reserve league already.

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      • John

        No time to being giving guys looks, we need to keep the streak alive!!

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      • CroCajun1003

        Mannnnn. That’s a fanboy squad if i’ve ever saw one. Surprised Adu isn’t in there.

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    • Zztoppppp

      I think Klinsmann will bring as close to an A team to Bosnia as he can, with only European based players.

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      • MN Footie

        I agree with this. I would expect Klinsmann to see how some of the standouts in the Gold Cup integrate with the remaining A team guys, to the extent that there are changes (and it’s fair to say that there will be at least one change, perhaps two or three).

        Like

  • Rod

    Not only did he come in and bring a lot of energy for the remaining 70+ mins, his long passing helped stretch the panama defense enough to put some real pressure on them. He was impressive today.

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  • Brain Guy

    Now that he’s starting to prove himself and convince the doubters, let’s all be clear: it’s Mix. One x.

    Like

    • Paul Miller

      The Man, the Mix(x), the Legend.

      I will add this, though. It’s still a longshot he makes the World Cup roster. I’d like to see him there, but I suspect Klinsmann will defer to older players. That’s part of his belief system. On the biggest stages, go with your most mature guys. Klinsmann occasionally points out he didn’t play his first game with Germany until he was 24. (Granted, Germany then had a little more depth than we do now, but the point is age will be part of decision.)

      Like

      • George

        Who else would you put ahead of Mix? Klinsmann called him a “special talent”

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        Can’t look at it like that. Mix isn’t there now, so you have to look at like who would be dropped to make room for him.

        We’ll probably name, what, eight midfielders for the World Cup roster. And let’s say Donovan is listed as a forward, though I’d bet he ends up playing RW. But that opens a spot.

        Bradley, Jones, Dempsey – not touchable
        Holden, Kljestan, Zusi, Cameron (though obviously he’s a D option as well) – likely
        Williams, Beckerman, Davis – JK seems to like those guys, and each does bring something, though not a complete package

        That’s 10 names, so probably have to eliminate three before getting to anyone new, like Diskerud, Gatt, maybe Beasley if tagged as a middie, Bedoya looked pretty good, etc.

        Fan favorites for dropping include Davis, Williams, Kljestan, and Beckerman. Three of those four probably have to go, just to make room for a newcomer, and there’s more than Diskerud waiting in the wings.

        Like I said, I’d have Diskerud there. Given what I think I know about JK, it’s a longshot. JK likes mature players, and likes power over finesse.

        Like

      • Zztoppppp

        Kljestan hasn’t looked good for the usmnt lately and he just went down with an injury. Mix filling in for him could give him the fast track to a World Cup spot.

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      • j-style

        His injury was a torn ear that required a few stitches. That’s nothing that will keep him from playing.

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      • Shawn

        I think Mix likely played his way into the squad. And before the Gold Cup, I would’ve called that very unlikely. Injury or no, right now I rate him ahead of Holden, more confident going forward, and a better passer, IMHO. So realistically, he would be #2, or perhaps 3, at linking midfielder. 1) MB90, 2) Landon (though I think it more likely he plays in the faux-left wing Torres was playing) 3) Mix.

        Like

      • brent

        Germany had just a little more depth….lol The ballon will be popped when we play a team ranked in the Top 100. OK, the Top 50.

        Like

      • Paul Miller

        I think we can hold our own against anyone not in the top, say, five. That’s not to say we’ll win those other games, but we won’t get played out of the stadium, either.

        I’ve seen us for a while somewhere around 16th-17th. That level is significant, because 16 come out of World Cup group play. For several World Cup cycles now, we’ve been roughly 50-50 to advance from group – no one is too surprised with us either way.

        We had dropped below that level, I believe, with some of the defensive problems we’ve experienced. If JK has those fixed with Besler, Gonzo and a renewed enthusiasm for a 4-2-3-1, then we’re probably back to 50-50 to make it to knockout games.

        A big thing I’ve noticed is we’ve added some depth to the pool in recent years. Remember when Davies got hurt and we were scratching heads over who else could play forward? That was less than four years ago.

        Like

  • Samuel

    Bedoya imo, not only for the assist but for a solid defensive and offensive display in the right side of the field where he was a great compliment for Parkhurst’s very good performance.

    Like

  • BFBS

    I am not going to go as far as to say that I disagree, but I get the sense that in giving out accolades such as MVP we sometimes reward our (USMNT) central midfielders for basically doing their jobs – keeping the ball moving and not losing it too often – without doing anything exceptional or being involved in the critical points of the match. I suspect that it might be because we have, especially relative to other positions, historically low expectations for that position. It could be that with Bradley approaching his prime, our expectations will soar. It is true that everyone in this match could be said to have merely done their jobs, and so, given the circumstances of Diskerud’s entrance, he deserves the award, and that’s fine. But I just think that we should take a look into who made either went above and beyond throughout or or “made” the critical play of the game. And it’s hard to argue that Bedoya did not make the critical play.

    Like

  • the original jb

    My motm was Beckerman. He did all the dirty work all game long and was the biggest reason Panama couldn’t muster anything resembling an attack. He was constantly in the right places, pressuring the right angles. Between him and Mix, the US dominated the center of the field. Congrats to the team and congrats to Klinsmann!

    Like

    • Ben

      Could have gone with Beckerman as well, but I think the unexpected and sudden way Mix had to enter the game shades it for Mix.

      Like

    • Zztoppppp

      Beckerman had a great game and it could have gone either way, but I feel like Mix influenced the attack more than Beckerman did.

      Like

      • Shawn

        Beckerman would’ve been my choice if not Mix. In a scrappy game, he kept the Panamanian counter under wraps. Quite honestly, in a testy Central American environment (like say CR in September), I trust Kyle more than I do Jones in the #6.

        Like

    • Air Jordanz

      It’s a good sign when there’s so much debate over who should be MotM.

      Like

    • Limey

      I thought Beckerman did a great job too, very solid outing with his usual lack of flash. Getting the dirty work done is right, did nothing spectacular but did a great job of what he was supposed to do.

      Like

  • Peretz

    Tough call on MOTM. What I liked about Mix is that he finally listened to the coaches and mixed (pun intended) it up on defense, which is something he should have been doing all along. I’d like to see his probing passes become more incisive, but this was a good game to build on. Beckerman had arguably his best game for the USMNT. His MF leadership and understanding of where to connect next was excellent, as was his defensive tracking. I give a slight nod to Kyle.

    Like

  • Josh From GA

    Just have to say Mix is the real deal Holden was good but I feel the come back story line gave all the journos a solid 6 and forgot about how much of a liability Holden really is…also I would like to point out I asked a question Ives never answered during the pre game…How long til Holden ends up hurt…well it took 17 more mins…kids the next gen John O’Brian..RIP Stewie

    Like

  • Limey

    The thing that impressed me most about Mix is the way he threw himself into the game. He was everywhere in the midfield harassing, chasing, pressurizing it was soo cool to see. He looked like the only guy on the field that truly wanted to win, he took risks, he worked hard and it was so much fun to watch.

    I’m a fan Mix great job!

    Like

  • alocksley

    Mix was very good. Bedoya was more influential. When the rest of the US attack stalled, Bedoya was trying to make things happen, including creating the winning goal. He was MOTM for me.

    Like

  • EspinDOHla

    SirMIXalot!!!

    Might have to change my SBI name!!!

    Beckerman also deserves props for his play throughout the Gold Cup. Solid.

    Like

  • chris_thebassplayer

    Mix $tepped up big time. He’$ much better challenging for the ball. JK wanted to $ee more grit and Mix ha$ $hown a lot of improvement in that area. He made a ton of defen$ive play$ to go along with the $avvy pa$$ing and po$$es$$ion.

    Like

  • OB Rick

    It took Mix so long to get ready to sub in. I never understand when a sub is called in and his cleats aren’t tied or something like that.

    Like

    • KingGoogleyEye

      Because you don’t sit on a bench ready to play. You re-tie your cleats to make certain they’re how you like. You jog a bit to make sure you don’t have any stiff muscles that need a little stretch first. You do some kind of ritual that preps you mentally. You find your “game face.”

      And for that last reason, as a coach you wait to hear from the trainers before you tell a sub to start warming up. Having a player go through the mental preparation to enter a match only to tell him “never mind, the guy on the field isn’t injured after all,” messes with his mind.

      Like

  • Copycat

    I think Rosenborg BK is really lucky to have him in they’re roster. The worth of the player just went double. Sad that Rosenborg didnt manage to get to the European Cup, but there is always a next year. Good luck Mix

    Like

  • 2tone

    Probability he moves this year? I give it a 40-60 split. My guess he doesn’t move until next summer.

    Like

  • Dave80

    I was surprised at what appeared to be a shift in intensity level when Diskerud was subbed in. Team emotional response when a mate goes down? Or Mix injecting more into the middle. I thought the latter. Passes stopped being backward and side to side and suddenly we had some incisive passes and more confusion in the Panama middle. Good stuff.

    Like

  • UclaGreat

    Posted this on another story, but this one seems to have more conversation going. For those that like to talk about A, B, C, etc teams.. here’s my list using only bench players that are likely to be used. So not a full 22 man squad:

    A Team:
    ————————Jozy———————
    F Johnson——Dempsey——Donovan
    ————–Bradley——-Jones————
    Beasley——Besler—-JA Brooks—Chandler/Cherundolo
    ————————-Howard————————–
    Bench: A Johannsson, EJ, Suzi, Shea, Kljestan, O Gonzalez, Guzan.

    B Team (Bench players are C Team):
    ————————–T Boyd/H Gomez———————–
    Gatt———————-Agudelo————-Corona/Bedoya
    ——-Diskerud/Holden—-Beckerman/Edu/Williams—-
    ?????———Fiscal———-Goodson———B Evans—
    —————————Rimando——————————-
    Bench (C Team): Sean Johnson, Jack Mack, Brad Davis, Joe Gyau, F Adu, Luis Guil, Joya, Villareal, Bocanegra, Beltran, Morrow, Yedlin, Lichaj, George John, W Bruin.

    Like

  • ACS

    If Mix stays with Rosenburg he’ll have extra time to work with the National team in the January Camp and be in mid-season form for the WC.

    Like

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