Mikkel Diskerud

US national team, World Cup player profile: Mix Diskerud

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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.

MORE: USMNT player profiles

Full name: Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn Diskerud

Age: 23

Hometown: Oslo, Norway

Position: Midfielder

Caps/goals: 18 caps, 3 goals

Club: Rosenborg

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.

John Anthony Brooks starts for the U.S. against Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Hertha Berlin central defender John Anthony Brooks, long-watched as a potential German-born U.S. international, is set to start the United States’ friendly today in Sarajevo. Against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 20-year-old Berlin-born defender got the call next to Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron in Jurgen Kilnsmann’s starting XI.

According to ESPN, Brooks will become the 61st different player to play since Klinsmann took over the U.S. national team two years ago.

Because today’s match is a friendly, the appearance does not permanently commit Brooks to the United States. But unlike Johansson and many foreign-born players who have recently committed for the U.S., Brooks has played at U-levels for the U.S., appearing for both the U-20 and U-23 national teams.

Jóhansson starts today’s game on Klinsmann’s bench, with Jozy Altidore set to start as the U.S.’s only outright forward. Along with 1860 Munich’s Bobby Wood, the former Icelandic youth international could get his first senior cap for the U.S. tonight.

The U.S.’s full starting lineup:

G: Tim Howard
LB: Fabian Johnson
CB: John Anthony Brooks
CB: Geoff Cameron
RB: Brad Evans
M: Michael Bradley
M: Jermaine Jones
AM: Eddie Johnson
AM: Mikkel Diskerud
AM: Alejandro Bedoya
F: Jozy Altidore

Stuart Holden injury: Bolton, U.S. Soccer confirm torn ACL

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U.S. Men’s National Team fans feared the worst when Stuart Holden left yesterday’s final in the 23rd minute. Now, the worst has been confirmed, with both U.S. Soccer and Holden’s club, English Championship side Bolton Wanderers, confirming the 27-year-old has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

According to Bolton, a treatment plan will be developed in the next seven-to-10 days, after swelling in the knee’s gone down. Until then, there’s no prognosis on a possible return.

Holden left Sunday’s game after colliding with Panamanian midfielder Alberto Quintero. Defending a counterattack out of Panama’s half, Holden’s left knee collided with Quintero, turning the U.S. international away from contact. After coming down on his right leg, Holden immediately fell to the turf, bringing his right knee to his chest in pain.

(MORE: Contemplating Holden’s 2014 World Cup chances)

After being examined both in the field and on the sidelines, Holden was replaced by Mikkel Diskerud. The former Houston Dynamo midfielder, who has undergone two surgeries on this left knee in the last two-plus years, could be seen on the bench with his head in his hands before walking to Solider Field’s locker room.

From Bolton’s web site:

Following a detailed scan on Monday evening, the club can announce that Stuart Holden has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee …
Holden will now consult with both the club’s and the national side’s medical staff to formulate a treatment plan.
Head of sports performance Mark Leather said: “We’ve got the scans and the results will be analysed by our specialists. We can then put an action plan in place over the next week to ten days when the initial swelling reduces.”
U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, in a release distributed by U.S. Soccer:
“We are absolutely devastated for Stuart,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “He is such a great part of our team on the field and the locker room. He worked tremendously hard to recover from previous injuries and had really come back into form. He was fully prepared to head back to Bolton and challenge for a starting spot. Now he will have our full support as he goes down this road again, and we will be with him every step of the way.”
Holden, for his part, put out a positive message in response to the news:
[tweet https://twitter.com/stuholden/status/361975150448615426 align=center]
Regardless, after you add in the broken leg Holden suffered in March 2010, this is the fourth major leg injury he’s suffered in the last three-plus years, the latest in a torrent of bad luck that has come to define the U.S. international’s career.

Stuart Holden leaves Gold Cup final with apparent right knee injury

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If you asked U.S. Soccer fans before the match for a worst case scenario, and this might have been it. I suspect most would rather their team lose the final of a “down” Gold Cup than see Stuart Holden leave Solider Field early with another potential knee injury.

It isn’t all gloom and doom quite yet. After going to ground in the 20th minute, Holden left the field under his own power, was briefly examined on the sideline, then gave way to Mikkel Diskerud. After a moment on the bench with his head in his hands, Holden was on his way to the locker room, undoubtedly to undergo a more detailed examination on his right knee.

This had every look of a precautionary measure, but with Holden’s injury history, nobody would be wrong to think the worst. Since suffering a left knee injury on March 19, 2011, Holden’s only played five games for his club (Bolton Wanderers), undergoing two major surgeries in that time. His health has been a major talking point throughout the tournament, with fans still harboring concerns for a player who’s become a favorite.

Those concerns will be heightened after Holden’s early exit in Chicago, an exit that came after Holden collided with Panama’s Alberto Quintero. Though today’s possible injury occurred to Holden’s right, non-repaired knee, fans concern is unlikely to be alleviated in the face of new, bad luck.

Holden immediately want to ground and grabbed the surgically repaired joint. When trainers reached him on the field, they immediately started testing the knee’s stability, the kind of prodding to the sides of the leg that you usually see when somebody suspects a ligament problem.

After a few moments’ examination on the sideline, Holden flopped flat on his back, arms outstretched in concession. His day was over.

Now Holden and U.S. Soccer fans play a waiting game. From almost all indications we saw from the field, this could merely be a hyper-cautious move in consideration of Holden’s injury history. But perhaps the most important indication — the fact that Holden couldn’t continue — means there’s reason to worry.

Video: Mix Diskerud scores his first national team goal

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On the list of players of whom U.S. Soccer diehards have been pining to see more, Mikkel Diskerud may be near the top. The 22-year-old Rosenburg attacking midfielder had two prior caps as well as a significant role in this spring’s Olympic qualifying tournament, but still eligible to play for Norway, “Mix” is a bit of a fixation for hardcore fans. Not only do they want him to get more time, they want him cap-tied. Even after today’s appearance in Russia, Diskerud could play for his country of birth.

After today, however, you have to think Mix is a lot closer to being a permanent U.S. men’s national team player. From U.S. Soccer’s point of view, the young midfielder came off the bench and made a big contribution. And for Diskerud, he’ll never be able to change the fact his first big moment at the senior international level came for the United States.

MORE: What we learned from Wednesday’s draw

That big moment came in the 93rd minute in Krasnodar. Michael Bradley had pumped a ball forward for Terrence Boyd, who had been brought on with Diskerud only six minutes before. The Rapid Wien striker headed down for Diskerud, who took it from there:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNwRzDhwrAk]

That he only played seven minutes in a friendly hints at Diskerud’s place in Klinsmann’s pecking order; however, he certainly didn’t hurt his standing with today’s big goal. With only one round left in Norway’s season, Diskerud is a player who could make a claim with a January camp. If a January camp happens.