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What Mix Diskerud’s interest in the Portland Timbers tells us

Dec 17, 2012, 10:29 AM EDT

Mix Diskerud-2

We heard last week that Mix Diskerud, the promising Norwegian-American midfielder, among the U.S. standouts in last year’s Olympic qualifying efforts, might be a Portland Timbers’ target.

Now comes the proof as a piece at MLSSoccer.com provides confirmation of the interest, which is apparently mutual.

Diskerud’s dad, who also serves as the midfielder’s agent, said Portland Timbers incoming manager Caleb Porter did, indeed, reach out to his son.

Here’s the interesting part: What as have here is iron-clad evidence that Portland, a small market in MLS, can nonetheless gain high ground in attracting top-level talent.

Diskerud’s father mentioned playing style and atmosphere around Jeld-Wen among the factors that make Portland Timbers FC an attractive destination.

Porter wants the Timbers to play a different style of soccer than what we saw under the team’s first two managers, Scotsman John Spencer and New Zealander Gavin Wilkinson. A more possession-oriented style would seem well-suited to Diskerud’s technical ability.

And Diskerud’s father specifically mentioned the Timbers Army, one of the supporters groups that has helped transform the MLS spectator experience in a growing number of markets.

None of this means that players will not consider clubs that play a more direct style, or clubs where attendance continues to be a challenge. It does help indicate, however, that clubs offering something more attractive in style, facility wow factor or fan frenzy will hold the better cards in the big game.

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