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NYCFC needs to trade Diskerud or Poku

Photo by Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports
Photo by Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

New York City FC needs help. Lots of it.

Thankfully, the club has some assets it can move to help improve its unbalanced roster.

New York City FC is off to another slow start in 2016, posting a 1-3-4 record that has seen new head coach Patrick Vieira and his men remain winless at home a quarter of the way through the campaign. One of the main contributing factors for that paltry record is NYCFC’s lack of offensive punch, as the club has scored just 10 goals so far.

On the surface, that number is not that bad, especially when compared to the amount that several other teams across the league have scored in the opening two months of the campaign. A closer look shows, however, that NYCFC has scored just four times in its last six games and that four of its 10 goals this year have come from star striker David Villa.

That is where Mix Diskerud and Kwadwo Poku come into the discussion.

Diskerud and Poku have both been talked up by Vieira and previous NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis during the past two seasons, but the managers’ actions have spoken louder than words. Diskerud has never really gotten going in New York City and has recently been demoted to the bench, and Poku remains primarily a super sub option to use only when certain occasions call for it.

While the two veterans have shown that they can sporadically make an impact, NYCFC would be wise to dangle one of them as trade bait for teams in need of some central midfield help. Other clubs might not necessarily be willing to part ways with one of their top players in exchange, but could help NYCFC add a couple of serviceable players in attacking positions, stockpile other assets, or unload some salary of its books. Maybe even a combination of the three.

Diskerud and Poku can start and contribute in this league, but are simply luxury players for NYCFC. Neither of them has proven indispensable in their time in the Big Apple, and both are part of a glut of central midfielders on NYCFC’s roster that could be made even worse when and if Frank Lampard returns from his mysterious calf injury.

That is why they could each make for a nice carrot in a trade. Diskerud’s salary (he made approximately $750,00 last year, according to the MLS Players Union) might not be ideal to take on, but he is a U.S. Men’s National Team regular that can be an upgrade in a true No. 8 role on the field and has appeal and marketability off of it. Poku, meanwhile, has proven to be deadly in the final third, but questions persist as to whether or not his game is well-rounded enough to be an every-game starter.

Still, there are teams that could use either Diskerud or Poku. D.C. United, the Seattle Sounders, and Houston Dynamo are all in need of some midfield help, and might be willing to make a deal with NYCFC for one of the two midfielders. Poku would make sense for the Sounders given their need for a playmaker, and Diskerud could certainly help D.C. United, which is playing former wide player Nick DeLeon centrally, or the struggling Dynamo.

NYCFC would be ill-advised to rid itself of both Diskerud and Poku. The MLS season is long, and having good depth always comes into play. Nonetheless, only one of them is really needed, especially since there are other decent central midfielders like Thomas McNamara, Federico Bravo, and Mehdi Ballouchy that are ready to play for Vieira.

Now, pulling off trades is not easy, but, frankly, it is time for sporting director Claudio Reyna to earn his check. Reyna was hired with NYCFC because of connections to parent club, Manchester City, but also because of his knowledge of the MLS landscape. Yet so far he has failed to assemble a balanced roster capable of producing results on a consistent basis.

Reyna needs to make something happen, as continuing to stay stagnant will only dig a deeper hole for NYCFC to have to get itself out of. There is still time to salvage the season, make a run at the playoffs, and reward the New York City fanbase that continues to religiously turn out to games despite the string of lackluster performances and results.

The tools are there in Diskerud and Poku to make a trade. NYCFC just needs to be willing to make a tough decision for the better of its future.


  1. They’d be better off getting rid of Pirlo and/or Lampard, but that won’t be happening. What a mess of a team. Anyone could have told you that that roster was incoherent.

  2. Agreed. The only conclusion I have been able to draw from watching NYCFC for the past 2 years is that the management is more concerned with selling jerseys than assembling a functional team. Having both Pirlo and Lampard as DPs makes no soccer sense but they are here to stay for this season at least. Next best thing to ditching those guys is to trade some of our horde of central midfielders. In additional to the many names Franco mentioned Viera has used Mikey Lopez centrally. If Reyna is actually trying to assemble a feasible roster he is not good at his job.

  3. Mix definitely needs a some new scenery, however, did you know he has as many national team goals as Benny Fielhaber, Sasha Klejstan, Dax McCarty, Lee Nguyen, and Darlington Nagbe combined (6 in 38 caps to 106 caps). He also has more national team goals than Jermaine Jones (3), Alejandro Bedoya (2), Graham Zusi (4), and Fabian Johnson (2) and only Zusi has fewer caps in that group. Of current national team regulars only Clint, Jozy, Wondo, and Michael have scored more goals than him. I think this shows the weakness of our current pool more than the greatness of Mix to be clear.

    • Agreed,…Mix definitely needs some new scenery. I suspect that Mix can up his game in the right environment,…and NYCFC is not the right environment. Someone noted this above and I agree,…DCU should take a flyer on Mix. Perhaps a normalized environment and playing regularly on a normal field would help the guy.

  4. Yeah sure, NYCFC can always unload Mix’s inconsistent talents; but the real question is, how do you replace those long, luxuriant, messianic locks?

  5. Mix is trash, I can’t believe he actually fooled nycfc to pay him dp money. They clearly didn’t scout him outside of his USA caps

  6. I would trade Poku actually. NYCFC need a mid who’s proven himself in this league. You can trade Diskerud but that seems like the riskier move and NYCFC doesn’t need to gamble right now they need to solidify themselves.

  7. NYCFC’s roster that could be made even worse when and if Frank Lampard returns from his mysterious calf injury.

    The only thing mysterious is anyone employing this waste of space or believing he will return for any extended period of time.

  8. DC lost a good (way underrated) player in McNamara. They picked him up when Chivas USA folded and then lost him via the expansion draft. Poku is what DCU need not Mix.

    If Acosta is a luxury player by not starting him, what makes you think they will trade for Mix, who plays a similar role?

  9. Reyna needs to make a trade….OR…needs a better coach. Vierra may have been a great player and maybe a good youth coach (I don’t know), but I have watched all of NYCFC games and he is not coaching at a level I would expect. He’s essentially a rookie coach and is learning from his mistakes. I would think he needs to learn more about managing a game than making personnel changes at his time. I think it would be harder for him to coach with new players when he does not have his team playing well together, throwing new players into the mix may not be the way to go just yet.

    • They made a mistake in letting Kreis go but it would also be a mistake to let Viera go. Viera is not going to be cowed by management and he’s already proven willing to leave Pirlo off the roster and he’s in no rush to bring back Lampard obviously. Neither one of them I imagine will be here next year so why not start building to the future. I’ve admittedly only seen two televised NYCFC games but it’s clear they have good players but no balance. I’ve also noticed players seem to live in fear of taking a shot instead of passing to Villa. As a DC United fan, I would be in for Mullins first, Poku and then Diskeruud.


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