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Diskerud criticizes Wambach’s comments on dual nationals

MixDiskerudUSMNT1-Germany (AP)

Mix Diskerud did not take too kindly to Abby Wambach’s remarks on Wednesday, so he issued a response.

In a post on his personal Instagram account, the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder and Norweigan-American dual citizen responded to being called “foreign” by Wambach.

“Think about who you try to disenfranchise. Because if you see us as the group to disenfranchise, then at least let it be known who we are,” Diskerud shared on his social media account.

Diskerud, born in Oslo, Norway, did not appreciate being singled out by the now-retired U.S. Women’s National Team goal-scorer, saying: “Why are we your single oddballs?”

Wambach created a stir on Wednesday after saying that she would fire USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann because she thinks he has had a reliance on foreign-born talent.

“First of all, (Klinsmann) hasn’t really focused, I feel like, enough attention on the youth programs,” Wambach said on Wednesday. “He says he has, I don’t think that he has. Also the way that he has changed and brought in a bunch of these foreign guys is just not something that I believe in wholeheartedly.”

Here is Diskerud’s entire post:

What do you think of Diskerud’s comments? Should Wambach apologize for her comments?

Share you thoughts below.


  1. It’s sad. From her perch she could help to build the game up in this country. Instead she sews discord and division. Also, Mix has better hair than her.

  2. Wow, I am surprised at the comments but dismayed at the controversy. I am a native born US citizen, married to Venezuelan, kids born in Venezuela but living back in USA now, and they both identify equally as Americans and Venezuelans. I bet most of the USMNT dual national players feel exactly the same, so I am disappointed in Abby’s comments and tend to agree with Mix.

    Foreign born players are a part of football, and I have yet to see any of the foreign born players on USMNT who are playing poorly but still starting on the field ahead of better full “american” born players. We still lack depth at most positions and if we got rid of Mix and the others tomorrow, i doubt very seriously the US would be a better team for it. What do you want, Freddy Adu over Jermaine Jones?

    Klinsmann certainly has had a lousy mid/late 2015 but deserves another year to improve. I thought we played well at the World Cup, got the Ghana monkey off our back, outplayed but drew with Portugal even on a Ronaldo good day, and certainly were not embarrassed by Germany the way Brazil was later in the tournament. We played Belgium well considering they were the much deeper team, and even had a solid shot of winning the game in regulation with a minute to play. That was just last year folks. We also won in Holland and Germany just before Gold Cup. Since then our play has been sub-par, but I for one want to see Klinsmann have another year to get things back on track during Copa America 2016. He probably in hindsight has varied the lineup too many times of late, so urge him to try to firm up our lineup for the upcoming WC qualifiers, but I really don’t understand this Klins-hating. Probably the same group that Bradley-hated and Arena-hated before that. Face the facts that we are not a deep team as yet, but continue to play respectable football for the most part against top-20 FIFA teams. And look at the more important goal – another good showing at WC2018 in Russia. I don’t care if the players taking the side in the USMNT jerseys speak dual languages, they will all be focused on one thing – to play well on the big stage.

  3. The only real question in all this is why SLA continues to follow the international side of the sport at all, since he is in such strong disagreement with the fundamental way in which it operates around the world.

    • Sydney from an early age said she wanted to play for the US team. She moved to the US at 15 and played soccer for UCLA for four years to make that happen. In other words, she made herself a part of the US soccer system before she ever got a US cap

  4. I was waiting for Mix to chime in when I heard Abby’s comments. I align with his views on the matter. American is American. And certainly no one is less American because they were raised somewhere outside of the country.

    I don’t think Abby should apologize however. These are her views on the matter. No one should have to apologize for what their beliefs on anything. If she’s brave enough to speak them, then she’s strong enough to accept both praise and criticism for her words.

    Politically correct is over-rated.

  5. I’m beginning to wonder why we haven’t heard from the leaders of this team. Bradley, Dempsy, or Jozy. They need to be leaders. They are passively approving . We heard a lot of the same stuff before the snow game. I want one these leaders to say that we are all Americans and if you step on the pitch with me and you’re wearing the red, white, and blue I expect you to fight and give everything you have and I believe we have those kind of players on our team. They need to stand up and be leaders and stand by the teammates that have fought hard. No matter where they come from. This is team building 101 and they have the perfect opportunity to build a “nobody believes in us” mentality that drives great teams and athletes. You have to stand up for teammates unless they are really bad guys

  6. All this would be a moot point if we could only develop half decent players.
    It’s not like we’re pulling in Diego Costa and Messi. We are talking about 5th string German players. Sadly, they’re better than our system produces at the moment.

    • If other nations like Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, etc didnt all accept “dual nationals” i think you would be on to something, but they all have and still do so lets not make it seem like the US stands alone with this approach. Dual nationalism has been around forever it seems and i think as long as the player feels more a part of the program that he is representing in opposition to the program of his actual birthplace then good for him/her. It’s been said here enough already but no one can gauge what a player has in his/her heart so to assume that player X is not fully invested in a national program because they have loose ties to it is ignorance at best.

  7. I really love this debate, and think both sides have made some good points. I’m mostly happy to see that SBI still has a lot of dormant followers, probably ready to go off with 300+ comments at the next big USMNT game. I’ve been less than enthused about where the site has gone in the last year, but I still have hope we are a deep, fairly well balanced soccer-loving community.

    I’m not going to address LD or Abby’s comments specifically, but instead what I feel the debate is actually about. As usual, I plan on making poor analogies. . .

    If a US citizen grew up in another country, going to school with friends who loved a different national team than the US, and had easier access to see and hear about that other national team, than it’s obvious and innocuous that they would want to play for the country they get most influentially exposed to. Coming from the US, we really can’t expect their parents to have a whole lot invested in soccer. So it stands to reason that for most ex-pat/abroad veteran kids that grew up in strong soccer countries, we are probably their second fiddle national team choice.

    We still are the team of their nation and–what seems to go unsaid–their parent’s nation!
    Who doesn’t want to do their best for the nation where their parent(s) originated?

    Every young lover of soccer dreams of playing in the World Cup, usually for the nation where they grew up. However, if this “foreign” born soccer player becomes a good professional prospect, and the soccer-loving nation they were born in doesn’t contact them, and the nation of their second choice does, and gives them a chance or three to play in a WC, who that loves soccer would not relish that opportunity?

    I have only a few good local friends. I like that; I’m an introvert. But, when I call one of those friends up because I want to spend some time in fellowship and camaraderie, and they are busy–my first choice of alignment–I won’t be less enthusiastic to hang out with the next friend that does answer or return my call/text. Just because someone/something wasn’t the first choice doesn’t mean you’ll value it less.

    But here is where I bite my own tail, and why I think this is a great, interesting debate that really has no black and white conclusion. . .

    If I love someone, who loves another who doesn’t love them, and so out of desperation for being left alone that person commits to me unenthusiastically or out of fear or spite, I think it does both of us a great disservice. What sort of relationship is that?

    Regardless, making blanket statements about a segment of society is never a good idea.

  8. Abby’s comments make me upset. I wonder if she thinks my daughters are Americans or foreigners. Both daughters born in Hong Kong where I work. I was born and raised in Iowa. My wife grew up in Arizona but was born in Germany on a U.S. base to Filipino immigrants to America – her father was US army, her grandfather a Filipino scout that fought against the Japanese in WWII.

    If you have a US passport you are American. Something most folks don’t probably know is that if you are American, you pay US tax no matter if you live in U.S., so anyone that has or keeps their U.S. citizenship isnt just saying they love America they are also saying they are willing to pay to be a U.S. citizen.

  9. Wambach, if anyone should be sensitive to being singled out. You can’t make a lump judgement about any group. It always comes down to the individual.

  10. The fact is that some of the German Americans didn’t come to the us federation but the federation came to them. If they they really wanted to play for the USA they would have come to us. I root for both USA and Mexico and even though I was born here I don’t really feel American because I haven’t lived here enough and don’t know much of the history of this country. Just because I listen to American music or eat American food doesn’t make me American, there is more than that.

  11. Are you eligible to vote in elections in the United States? Congratulations, you can play for the country.

    Not allowed to vote? Not sure you should be on that national team.

  12. She should probably think about what she says first. She has had teammates who are in the same situation as the ones she’s criticizing

  13. The rest of the world has accepted the fact that dual citizens are part of the soccer world. Look at Jerome Boateng in Germany, He chose Germany rather than Ghana. His brother Kevin Prince chose Ghana. Germany didn’t take him because he ruined Ballack’s career. The rules were made to accommodate players who otherwise might not be playing at all. For Donovan the whole thing is sour grapes. For Abby Wambach? It’s I don’t know what. Mix has a right to play for the U.S. I think he is carrying it too far with his comments. The problem with all the comments is that the USMNT is not playing like a team. They need to watch the Warriors basketball team. They share the ball and the responsibility for winning. It’s sad to see that the men don’t understand how their greatness is being diminished by their selfishness and the women’s greatness is marred by Wambach’s unnecessary comments.

  14. I have a question for slowleftarm since he seems like the one most knowledgable about what makes you an American.
    My name is Dayo I was not born in America. I was born in Nigeria. Moved here 2001. Have lived here for about 13 years. Now obviously I’m a naturalized citizen. I am young and I do have aspirations to play for the US soccer team. If it when I wear the jersey am I more or less American then my teammates who were born here. I’m a big fan of Nigeria and USA. Now I do have brothers. One was born here but only lived here for 9 months as we moved to Germany. He also plays soccer. Big fan of Germany and USA. Is he less of an American EVEN though he was BORN here because he spent only 9 months here and is developing his skills in Germany. Is the amount of time you live in this country make you more or less of an American? Now last brother has never set foot in America. He was born in a military base in Germany. He too plays soccer. By law he is as much as an Ameican citizen as my brother born here or you. Now when he wears the jersey is more or less than an American than his two older brothers because he never set foot in America even though that’s not really his fault. My point is this. In one proud German-Nigerian-American family we have a dad who fought for you to be able to have this opinion. And yet in by your standards we may not be American enough for some of y’all. We all love Nigeria, Germany, and USA. That doesn’t make us any less American. If any of us played for the USA it would be unfair to claim we aren’t American enough because
    1. We weren’t born here but moved here. But became citizens per Law
    2. Born here so citizen off the boat. But didn’t live here long enough to be considered American enough (which I think is foolish and a cowardish thing to say and makes no sense)
    3. Was born in military base never set foot in America but by law are just as American as Obama
    All in all only I can’t run for office for USA pres. I’m sorry if they can run for office that makes them as Anerican as possible. In my case I’m just as Ameircan as they are too although I can’t run for president. So slowleftarm and others. Next time why don’t you look in a service men or women child in the eye and tell them you’re not American enough because your parents decided to join the military. Look me in the eye and tell me the same thing. Look at someone born here but had to move at a young age and tell them the same thing. Cowards is what y’all are. Pathetic.

    • Hi Dayo,

      Can’t wait to see you or your brothers suit up for the USMNT one day, best of luck and keep up the hard work


    • Dayo, I welcome you with open arms to play for the USA!!!! Great story and glad to hear it! (very white person born in the USA) 🙂

    • I hope he reads this , it would serve him very well. I am referring to slow left. Well said – shame on him for being willfully ignorant.

    • Dayo,
      Your question should not be to Slowleftarm it should be to your brothers on how they exactly feel.

      Pretty much all other posters,
      I find it funny that many people on this site like to paint slow with one broad stroke of being a xenophobe, when in reality if look at what he writes he wants to support a US national team players that are there because they feel American and want to play for the Stars and Stripes, not because they got burned by another coach and are changing sides to advance their careers.
      The perfect international example of this is Kevin Prince Boateng, he plays for Ghana in the big games for the big tourneys and then “retires” from he international game when it comes to friendlies and qualifying and Timmy Chandler was heading down that same path when it came to representing the US. The great thing about this country and this sport is that dual nationals are able to represent other countries and if someone feels they are doing it for the money, fame, or the name on the back of the jersey than I can also stand up and yell my dislike for that person.
      I don’t want to speak for Slowleftarm like many people on this website like to, but I would rather have Terrance Boyd over Chandler on my team because of the manner in which he showed that he wanted to represent the United States.

      • I have mentioned this before, but i see it needs to be said again. We have another amazing example of someone who can read minds. Or, at least you claim to read minds. Who are you to say how committed Chandler or any other player is to the US? Can you see into their minds or into their hearts? There is a psychological; term called projection, which is something done by many if not most people. You project onto others your own feelings and assumptions. If you are engaging in projection you are saying this is how you would react in their situations. There is no evidence, none, that is how they react. I;’m tired of this sanctimonious b.s., which is becoming more and more common in the US, that only certain people are real Americans and only certain people are capable of deciding who is a real American. Most of those people making that judgment, BTW, rarely, if ever have done so much as serve in their country’s military or done much at all for their country.

      • I think you are being too kind to slow. He complains about “passport Americans,” but he includes natural born US citizens who have spent time in the US and have close family ties in the US (like Julian Green). He isn’t complaining about state of mind at all. He is setting up a vague litmus test involving how much time the player has spent living in the US. and whether the US system (excluding the actual US National Youth system) has developed the player. So his objection is about how he feels, not how the player feels or even whether the player is a US citizen. That’s why i have so much trouble with his position. its only in his mind — there is nothing objective about it.

      • Gary,
        You are right, I’m sorry can both of us agree to get down off our lofty horses and have a conversation.
        Also a little reading comprehension, I said the manner in which he went about it… did I tell you what he was thinking? But also keep spouting off about what you believe was written not what was actually written.
        Did I say if he was American or not? People are judged by their actions and their words, when Chandler refuses to accept call ups for all sorts of reasons he will be judged, that is life brosef. If you don’t like then you are living on the wrong planet

      • hey Reid,hang in there. it’s a nuanced discussion seems to me, not black and white but lots of gray, altho many here refuse to see that it appears.

        what you end up getting here is a bunch of personal attacks, people looking to engage in ego driven BS instead of disagreeing on the issues, or agreeing on some things but disagreeing on others, etc.

        no…not here.

        anyway, no problem with dual nationals myself but also in no way think they are the better options all the time for the team, for many reasons. it depends

        and sticking up for the American home grown and developed player doesn’t mean you’re against the dual nationals. that’s my position…gray.

      • Beach, It’s not gray it’s about as binary as anything. You’re either eligible to play for a country or you’re not. You’re posts on here continue to be on the level of slowlefts

  15. Moreso than just about any other country, we are a nation of immigrants and the disenfranchised, not sure if Wambach and Donovan are xenophobic or just butt-hurt about retiring but their comments are sad and, no matter how well-intentioned they may have been, make them look petty. Unless you’ve got a 20 page manifesto on your plan to usher the US into the era of soccer domination, keep your trap shut and defer to the person with actual managerial experience.

    Watch JAB’s reaction after scoring that header in the World Cup or Jermaine Jones’ reaction after scoring that wundergoal in the same World Cup and tell me they aren’t 100% committed.

    Unless you’re planning on staying relevant, just fade into obscurity with a little dignity please.

    • There have been other great athletes in the US, even in soccer. The vast majority of them have enough sense not to insert themselves into controversy or create controversy. Look at Mia Hamm, or Claudio Reyna, or Carlos Bocanegra, or any of a number of former US soccer greats. They have shown class. This type of behavior smacks of grandstanding. After you have been away from the game for a decade or so and if you have a role as a commentator or something similar, it’s considered okay. You can become an elder statesman type. It always seems unseemly when someone is outspoken as they are going out the door.

      • Agreed, and by the time they get to be the “elder statesman” they should have the good sense to say things in a way that don’t incite controversy, even if what they say is controversial.

        Same basic statement, doesn’t sound bitter:
        “I love that we have so many players wanting to play for the US, I worry that with this influx of talent from across the globe, the domestic player development might take a backseat…”

    • “His comments don’t make much sense.”

      Common sense isn’t so common. Your thoughts and opinions on the topic of nationality is proof of that.

    • Mix makes a lot of sense. You, on the other hand, have never made sense when it comes to the topic he is addressing. I find your comments on dual nationals embarrassing and, honestly, very un-American in their lack of inclusiveness.

      • I think everyone needs to remember we are talking about soccer. This is about how we are reflected on the soccer field, nothing more. This isn’t a war, it’s about building a soccer program.

    • I think the spirit of the argument makes a lot of sense. That the US should be producing its own players and not relying on players brought through other countries youth systems. By that token, it means that the US youth setup isn’t good enough to produce players of quality. By in large, it hasn’t, at least not to the degree that other contributing nations to the USMNT youth setups has with consistency. The actual argument, however is BS. The US is a melting pot of immigrants. NPR had a piece on this morning of a immigrant living in NY from the middle east. She said she didn’t meet an Anglo Saxon American for 6 months. That is the US.

      • Couldn’t agree more. The US needs to be developing talent, and doing a much better job of it than they are. Doesn’t at all negate the fact that they should simultaneously make U.S. National Team selections based on merit/talent from within ALL qualified U.S. Citizens as explicitly defined by our fine Constitution. Doing so… it should be noted that nowhere within that document is there a graded hierarchy of less to more American based on arbitrary personal bias/opinion.

      • So when Diego Costa plays for Spain instead of Brazil, it means that Spain’s system is broken? Dual nationals are simply a reality of modern soccer…all teams are using it to their advantage. In German’s World Cup winning team, Podolski and Klose are both from Poland. Does Germany’s youth system need work?

      • AK, is this not the point Abby was making. Both klose and podolski were developed within the German system, even though they were born outside of it.

    • His comments make perfect sense. He is simply saying that many Americans, but virtue of choices made by their parents or other circumstances beyond their control, willingly chose to represent the US as soldiers, as volunteers, and, as it happens, in international soccer. He is saying these people are no less American, which is true. As I said elsewhere here, I can understand perfectly why these Americans, who have to make a choice, may feel MORE passion and allegiance to their country than someone with the luxury of not having to make that choice. Failing to understand the “sense” of that is willful ignorance, at best. Its one thing to say “I wish we could develop better player as a country.” Its quite another to say that overseas Americans wanting to play for America shouldn’t be able to, or are somehow “lesser” or “other” for reasons having nothing to do with their play or actual motivations.

      • Adam, there are a lot of people in the US Soccer community who feel Klinsmann is giving unfair preference to players who were foreign rather than domestically developed. Is Mix really better than Feilhaber, Torres, Nguyen, Nagbe, Dax, Finlay, Lleget? As the technical director of US Soccer he does have an obligation to promote and support domestically developed players and their clubs.

      • Julian, I see your point, but the examples you make do not hold water for the most part, Nagbe only became eligible to play for the USMNT 2 months ago because he is a naturalized American although developed elsewhere. Benny and Lee Nguyen play entirely different. Finlay is more of a winger. Lleget is 22 and just transferred over 3 months ago from West Ham where he NEVER made an appearance. He will be or should be invited to the January camp. The only ones we should really consider instead would be Dax and Torres. He has brought both into camp and played them, but was not impressed. Frankly, I have never really been all that impressed by Dax although he had a great year this year. Torres I liked, but much older. I don’t think JK is all that impressed by Mix, honestly, and he has regressed.

        I do like Benny and Lee. They should have been on the squad, (He clearly views Lee as B team quality based on his call ups). However, I think he is trying to play Clint and Jozy for multiple goal scoring threats.

        “As the technical director of US Soccer he does have an obligation to promote and support domestically developed players and their clubs”. Not quite. Promote development – Yes, support their clubs – no unless the clubs align themselves with doing what is best for the USMNT.

    • Yeah he doesn’t make much sense. It’s a discombobulated diatribe. Mix played for Norway before he played for the US. If a handful of dual nationals who learned the game an ocean away from Norway took his spot on their team, even though they were not noticeably better, how would he feel? Maybe he should address that question rather than ramble on about “single oddballs” and “commander in chief”.

      If you are a player, like Abby or Landon, who came through the US system you care about it and the other players who came through it with you. You care about them getting a fair shake (especially when you know they don’t get a fair shake in Europe) and you care about the system being able to produce successful players and successful national teams. It is just human and reality; it is rooting for your team and for soccer in the US. That includes players who were foreign born and gained their citizenship during the journey, like Agudelo, so please spare me the xenophobic nonsense. People point to Podolski and Klose for Germany but those players were developed in Germany so its not the same thing.

      This is the reality. In Klinsmann’s first press conference after being hired he talked at length about his plans for taking the USMNT to the next level. This conversation did not include anything about doing a better job of recruiting dual nationals to the USMNT as being vital to that goal. It was the opposite. He said to get to the next level the US needed to be able to develop world class talent domestically. That is why he insisted on control over all of the boys/mens national teams as a prerequisite for taking the USMNT job and is why he officially became US tech director. US Soccer has complete control over the youth players in the US Soccer Development Academy. They aren’t allowed to play other organized soccer. They can’t play high school soccer with their friends. The majority get no tournament experience (yeah that’s going to help). 13 yr old boys have to make four year life altering decisions about whether to except a scholarship at a good high school to play soccer or play US academy soccer (before they even tryout and know if they made the academy team and if they will get to play their best position). Many Academy players spend hours both ways getting to practice at night, doing their homework in the car and sacrificing their social lives in the process. For many their grades suffer when they are on bus trips for the entire weekend and can’t get enough computer/internet access to get their homework finished. All this sacrifice for years for a dream and people expect Abby to be okay with caps being given to a foreign developed player who has done nothing to demonstrate they are superior to US domestic talent? They’ve given their commitment but where is the commitment to developing them? These players can’t fully develop if they aren’t given caps, period. Where is the commitment to the academies developing our best domestic players when Klinsmann undermines them by getting these players over to European academies? How does that help us create a system capable of producing a world class player? What do the non MLS academies that have have produced the Yedlins and the Nagbes of the US get out of it? Nothing, no compensation, little recognition or support. Why does Klinsmann have complete control over all ages of the men’s side of the domestic program when he is constantly undermining it and the players who chose to stay here or have to because they don’t have a European passport? None of what Klinsmann said in his initial presser jives with what he has actually done

      • Agree. I don’t Abby was talking about how American a player is. Simmons was asking her about the state of US men’s program and she gave her opinion. The US needs to be able to develop top talent domestically to get better on the mens side. Like you point out Klinsmann has said that himself, and Abby said she didn’t think Klinsmann was doing enough of that. Part of developing players is giving them chances with the national team and making sure they have what they need here. However, people often willfully choose to misunderstand people so they can point out how superior they are

    • Maybe English is a challenge for this American? I think that looking at the career of Abby vs Mix…Mix might get to shine her shoes. Im siding with Abby


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