May 31, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Born in Norway but playing for the Unites States, Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud’s path to the 2014 World Cup is one of the more circuitous ones on the roster – one that leverages an American mother and playing for both the U.S. and Norway at U-level competition.
In 2008, Diskerud, eligible to represent both countries, played for his birth country at the U-18-level. One year later, he was doing the same for the United States at U-20s, embarking on a path that would eventually see him commit to his mother’s home nation.
A skilled attacking midfielder, Diskerud gives head coach Jurgen Klinsmann somebody who can operate a true number 10. At least year’s Gold Cup, the 23-year-old also proved effective in a slightly deeper role, playing more like a typical central midfielder.
Regardless of the role he assumes for his national team, Diskerud will be one of three foreign-born players who will represent the U.S. in Brazil. Come 2018, the young Rosenborg midfielder will have a full cycle’s experience in the team, giving the U.S. a touch of quality in the middle of the park.
Full name: Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn Diskerud
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Caps/goals: 18 caps, 3 goals
Best moment in a U.S. shirt: The U.S. wasn’t expected to win its November 2012 friendly in Russia, but after running onto a knocked down header from Juan Agudelo, the substitute beat Vladimir Gabulov from the near edge of the penalty area of give the U.S. a result in Krasnodar. It was Diskerd’s first senior international goal.
Starter or squad player at World Cup? Diskerud will be an option off the bench, and as somebody who can occupy the space between the central midfielders and defense, he’s likely to see some time. Within the context of his career, however, 2018 is more likely to be Diskerud’s tournament.
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