Mix Diskerud

Bradley, Ream’s U.S. fates will remain unchanged, but Diskerud’s withdrawal could matter

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When we last saw the United States Men’s National Team in action, the midfield duo of Kyle Beckerman and Mix Diskerud seemed on track for spots at this summer’s World Cup. The Real Salt Lake anchor’s lock on a spot in Brazil looked even more certain, while Diskerud continued to build on Gold Cup performances that distinguished him from some of the other midfielders vying for places behind Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones.

But Diskerud’s spot as a midfielder who can provide a presence in the space behind the forwards puts him in a more tenuous position than Beckerman, who provides a distinct option as a holder in front of the defense. With Sacha Kljestan set to join the U.S. ahead of Wednesday’ match against Ukraine, the now withdrawn Diskerud has one obvious competitor he needs to beat out.

That’s not to say the competition is only among those two players. With Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Graham Zusi’s ability to play high in midfield, Klinsmann has a number of options that could fill that spot, should the U.S. want to play with formations or roles. Options like Alejandro Bedoya, Brad Davis, Joe Corona, and Brek Shea are also in the mix for the team’s last handful of midfield spots. With impressive camps, players like Bedoya and Shea could elevate their profiles.

(MORE: Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Tim Ream withdrawn from United States’ squad for Wednesday vs. Ukraine)

Whether somebody can pass Diskerud in this pecking order is another question, but that risk makes Diskerud’s Saturday withdrawal more important than Michael Bradley’s or Tim Ream’s. Bradley is going to Brazil, no doubt. And Ream was always going to stay home unless he had a remarkable camp. Diskerud, on the other hand, needed to continue his strong play through Wednesday’s match in Cyprus, preferably into the pre-World Cup camp that starts in May.

Diskerud’s spot isn’t going to be lost in the next five days, but now his stock is destined to stay flat this week. That opens the door for a players like Kljestan (or Bedoya, Shea, or even a Danny Williams).

That little bit of momentum that Diskerud build after spending January with Klinsmann? Maybe a different set of players carry that into May. Maybe, as Klinsmann is deciding who gets on that final flight to Brazil, some memory from this week’s camp sways his decision.

Then again, Diskerud may be going no matter what.

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.

From MLSSoccer.com:

“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.