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After impressive MLS debut, Mix Diskerud wants to make his mark at Yankee Stadium

MLS: New York City at Orlando

photo by Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports


NEW YORK — Mix Diskerud had the chills and not just because it was cold outside.

As he drove through the city the other night, Diskerud caught a glimpse of a lit-up Yankee Stadium. Immediately, he thought about playing his first game there and could not help but get excited.

That vision will become a reality for Diskerud on Sunday, as he and New York City FC hold their much-anticipated home opener against Eastern Conference foes the New England Revolution. For Diskerud, the match will not only provide him the opportunity to play in the city that he has adopted as his home, but will also give the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder a chance to build on his strong season-opening performance.

Playing at the base of NYCFC’s midfield in last week’s 1-1 road draw vs. Orlando City, Diskerud shone with an 88-minute shift that underlined why he is a USMNT regular. It was not just Diskerud scoring New York City’s first goal via an impressive curled effort that caught people’s attention, but also his ability to connect smoothly on a wide range of passes to help NYCFC try and build the attack.

“He was incredible,” said NYCFC defender Chris Wingert. “I thought he was by far our best player, and you can see how comfortable he’s been. I don’t want to overstate, but playmaking from that role in a (Andrea) Pirlo-type way – again, I know Pirlo is one of the best players in the world – but Mix really was outstanding the past couple of games.

“He’s scored three games in a row now (including preseason) and they’ve all been excellent goals. Besides that, I think he’s been great. He gets on the ball and he’s threading these passes through and really helping distribute from a deep-lying role, and I’m super impressed.”

That the 24-year-old Diskerud is able to handle that type of role speaks to the development of his game. Touted for his technical skills and vision, Diskerud began his career as more of a finesse player, one who could help link the defense and the attack but struggled when games got more physical.

A few years ago, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann left Diskerud off a game-day roster for a January friendly because he wanted to see Diskerud become a little grittier and tougher on the defensive end. It was not just about adopting the mentality of doing the dirty, less glamorous work on the other side of the ball, but also being able to get stuck in and scrap and claw against more physically-imposing players.

Diskerud took the message to heart. He sought the help of a nutritionist who helped him find ways to eat more protein, and had a personal trainer to help him bulk up a little. All of that paved the way for him to evolve into more of a two-way player, and he’s looking to demonstrate that to casual and hardcore fans in his first year in MLS.

“Now, it’s a perfect opportunity to show that playing a more defensive role,” said Diskerud, who recently found a place in Manhattan with teammate Khiry Shelton. “After us having those conversations, I decided to hit the gym more and become a little bigger and I have actually, because I was a skinny guy before and there’s different things I want to develop.”

As much progress as Diskerud has made on the defensive side, you will not soon be confusing him with the likes of Jermaine Jones or Kyle Beckerman. Diskerud’s bread and butter remains his poise and skill on the ball, which was on display for all to see in last Sunday’s clash with Orlando City.

Diskerud was constantly in the thick of things when NYCFC was in possession and on the attack, staying central on some plays but also floating out to the right on others. Still, his big moment came in the 76th minute when he received a deflected pass from David Villa and bent a shot around a crowd of Lions defenders and into the bottom corner.

“It’s very difficult to describe it, because unless you play soccer or different sports I don’t think you really get that rush,” said Diskerud of scoring NYCFC’s first official goal. “When you turn around and you see everybody running towards you, you understand that you just scored a goal and it’s huge.

“Usually, the stadium goes nuts but since we were playing an away game I saw a little section going crazy. I was running at them, pointing at them. It was fun to celebrate with them even though it was a small (NYCFC) crowd.”

A much larger contingent of NYCFC fans will be on hand for Diskerud and NYCFC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The game against the Revolution is projected to draw a crowd of more than 30,000, and Diskerud is eagerly looking forward to playing and delivering in front of all of those supporters.

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” said Diskerud. “I heard it’s going to be a lot of people coming out, so I can’t wait. We want to give them a good showing, hopefully entertaining, good soccer, and maybe even a win.”


  1. Cool as a cucumber and deadly. Had time to fix his hair then score a fabulous goal seconds later. Mix looks like he will do well in mls

  2. I wonder how many fans from New Jersey and the MetLife stadium area are going to Yankee stadium to see nycfc. Does anyone have an idea?

    • I’m sure there’ll be some, just like there’s plenty of people living in the city who come to RBA (not MetLife). Eventually there won’t be too many people from anywhere at Yankee Stadium though because there isn’t enough interest in this market for 2 MLS teams.

      • Are you kidding? They’ve already sold 15K season tickets!!! If they get their own stadium and win a Cup, the team will go through the roof. There are 8 million people in the 5 boroughs, a huge percentage of which are immigrants or children of immigrants from soccer mad countries. There are millions more in Westchester and North Jersey which is one of if not THE biggest soccer hotbeds in the nation. There are NINETEEN million people in the greater NYC area. If you have 2 or even 3 teams that are run well, marketed well, and put a good product on the field, they will all be very successful. That’s the big question, though. Both MLS teams have come under significant fire for questionable practices of late.

  3. Unrelated, but I got an email from USSOCCER Supporters with notice of advance sale for Gold Cup tickets. The tickets are supposed to e on presale now and the code from USSOCCER is supposed to get me in, but it does not seem to work.

    Is there something I’m missing? Has anyone else had success getting any tickets yet?

    Sales to general public start March 19.

    • Yeah you have to cross a bridge or use a tunnel to get there. So difficult. I’ll just stay on my side of the river this weekend.

      • I’m waiting until there’s a one-seat ride from my town to the stadium that takes less than a half-hour.

      • Are you guys all red bull fans?
        If you are, are you guys going to support their ownership and attend games despite the obvious drama going on.
        However, you red bull fans should do something like this to pressure your front office for a change.
        Google Diego Guevara inter Miami
        Google M.Willis New England revolution rebrand
        It’s now or never and social media is the key to keep pressure on everything nowadays.

      • Yes we are RBNY supporters and I actually googled what you suggested and don’t see what it has to do with anything. Am I supposed to support a team in Miami of Boston?

        I don’t “support the ownership” but I am going to attend games. Yeah I hated the Petke firing, I think Red Bull is in cheapout mode, I think the current squad is average at best and paper thin, I think Ali Curtis is a clown, I wish my club wasn’t named after an energy drink. But it’s still my team, I like many of the current players and enjoy rooting for them (Dax, Robles, Sam, even Roy Miller). And I’m going to be there next week and probably every home game this year because that’s what supporters do.

        They don’t go support some new team that plays in a baseball stadium. They don’t change allegiances because they don’t like management decisions. I hated that the Yankees let Joe Torre go. But did I become a Mets fan?

      • Yep, it’s still our team, and supporting our team is what we do. I’m with you on that, slow.

        But not on the Yankee fan part. I am, and have always been, a Met fan. Which makes it even easier to root against the Mankees.

      • Of course. You have to root for the team, not the owners. It might be a small factor, but many of these owners make objectionable decisions or even have objectionable views or politics. Without Phil Anschutz there would BE no MLS, but many fans find his views repugnant. You can’t exactly root for Sheikh Mansour with a clean conscience, either, not with his country’s ethics.

    • I go to Yankee stadium 8-10 times a year and it’s a great stadium. For baseball games. I went once for a college football game and thought it was pretty bad. Once the initial interest wears off and you have 15-20k rattling around a 50k stadium and you’re sitting miles from the field you’ll be the one crying. Even more so when the “true NYC” team moves to Westchester a few years down the road.

      • A couple of years back my buddy took me to new Yankee Stadium to catch a Yanks game. It’s an impressive place, but boy are the bad seats bad. I needed high powered binoculars to see the nearest guy with a “Your Seats Suck” sign pointed in our direction. And his seats were still in the lower stratosphere.

  4. I think MLS and its physical play will either improve Mix as he adapts to better handle the challenges or the MLS defenders will learn that some rough play will disrupt his game and he will fail to rise to the challenge. It would be great for the USMNT if he flourishes in MLS.


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