101213_isi_diskerudmix_usmntjt101113109 John Todd/isiphotos.com
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Mix Makes Most of His Opportunity with "A Team"

Michael Bradley's ankle injury provided the midfielder with a chance to play with the A team, and he responded with a solid performance. ASN's Jon Arnold spoke with Diskerud about the Jamaica game.

BY Jon Arnold Posted
October 12, 2013
6:27 PM
KANSAS CITY, Kan.—There's a lot going on under Mix Diskerud's curly locks, even if the midfielder comes off looking pretty carefree.

The new addition from Norway has earned a reputation as a player who can easily slot in to big situations, as he did in a 2-0 U.S. win Friday against Jamaica. With the Americans missing their best player, Michael Bradley, because of injury, Jurgen Klinsmann turned to the 23-year-old Diskerud to partner with Jermaine Jones.

With the win, Diskerud logged his 11th victory with the national team. He has yet to play in a match the United States lost.

While it ended well, the match didn't open as Klinsmann and Diskerud would've hoped. Diskerud gave the ball away too frequently in the first half and wasn't able to get forward often enough. That was remedied when Klinsmann brought Sacha Kljestan into the defensive midfield and pushed Diskerud up to a more attacking position. There he found a groove, attempting a spin move in the 77th minute after playing a one-two with Jozy Altidore. He failed to pull off the whole move but Altidore kept possession and the sequence eventually led to Graham Zusi putting in the match's first goal.

"The 360, almost!" Diskerud said with a smile after the match. "We got a goal out of it, so I was happy about that, and I was involved in the second goal as well, so it's nice being involved in the goals of course."

Though he had more success there Friday, Diskerud doesn’t necessarily prefer playing forward, but said he does feel comfortable playing either defensive or attacking midfielder. And he enjoyed working with Altidore up top to create chances. His willingness to play in any position is consistent with his generally laid-back personality—that often shows on the field.

"I don't get really stressed too often," he said. "I don't lose the ball too often. I don't know. I just tend to not lose the ball and come off as a calm person. Even though a million things are going through my head, it looks kind of relaxed on the field."

While Klinsmann would probably rather see Diskerud ease off the right stick a bit, he's encouraged to see him keep his composure.

"Mix you can see is a player that's also coming through, one of our Olympic kids that picks it up and gets more confident every time he comes into camp with us," the coach said after the match. "His vision on the field, his technique, his one-touch passing ability is wonderful to see."

Diskerud is simply relishing the opportunity to get some time in the squad and boost his chances of making the World Cup roster.

"This is what I hoped," he said. "I had a chance in Gold Cup to show what I could do, and I felt that went pretty good. After that I got my chances with kind of the A-team. I'm starting now, so I'm happy."

Happy and relaxed, just as you want your young midfielder to be, but don't let it fool you. He's doing a lot of thinking too, about his role, his future, and about donning the national team kit in Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

Would you like to see Mix on the plane to Brazil? Think he has a good shot? Give us your take in the Comments below.

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