Wednesday evening the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (Fifa Rank 27) faced off in a friendly against home side Chilean National Football Team (Fifa Ranke 14). Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann looked to show off a newly implemented system (3-5-2), displaying an emphasis on midfield support to the back line defensively, as well as the front line offensively.
Within Klinsmann’s starting eleven, recently signed New York City Football Club’s left winger/central midfielder Mix Diskerud donned his national shield taking the pitch against the Chilean opposition, artfully demonstrating his footballing skills on both sides of the ball, as well as his ability to adapt to change.
His contributions on the pitch for the U.S. Men’s National Team showed significant promise for what to come to New York City Football Club. Granted, naysayers may claim Chile used their B squad, and that such a test would be passible by most; however what he was able to accomplish in the time he was given can not, and should not, be written off so quickly.
In the early goings of the match it seemed that both teams were pressing one another to get penetration up field with little regard to form, or system, and as such it lead to two goals, one by each side, within the first fifteen minutes of the match. Yet the ‘bend,’ and what some would consider ‘break’ did not come from Diskerud’s side of the ball while he defended.
As a matter of fact during the early goings Diskerud (playing in an uncharacteristic deep midfield position) could be seen making timely, and speedy runs to either support Jermaine Jones (D.C. United), or Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) in clearing the ball from the back line, the former of which had an abysmal evening.
Additionally, Diskerud (a name not often noted by T.V. announcers because of a notable difficulty in pronunciation) contributed mightily up field as well (his natural playing position) on both the left, and right wing, seen distributing the ball cleverly, and with high accuracy to playmakers such as DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspurs F.C.), or Brek Shea (Orlando City S.C.) both of whom established the only offense the USMNT side would have in the game.
Despite the rocky start, Klinsmann’s (3-5-2) formation was holding, and providing decent countering to the Chilean offense. In spite of the shoddy work of a collective defensive line which at times looked inexplicably nervous, the midfield essentially did its job, and none with more poise than Diskerud in terms of making the right plays, and correct decisions at the right times.
As a New York City Supporter one must look at this loss for what it truly was an example of the good that is to come. When analyzing the individual performance of Diskerud you see that he showed solid speed moving up on the attack, showed decent communication with his fellow midfielders and back line, making defensive stands at key points.
He kept his head on a swivel to find his forward in Jozy Altidore (Toronto F.C.), which led to the USMNT second goal, giving them their first, and only lead of the game. A key assist for Diskerud came as he was fed a throw in from Yedlin, proceeded to give and go near the right wing offensive corner, which lead to a nifty cut back pass by Diskerud that pinpointed Altidore’s boot for the goal. It was splendid to watch, at which moment this reporter wondered what could be possible with such class as David Villa, or the due to return (or make first appearance) Frank Lampard at Diskerud’s disposal.
Diskerud’s performance tonight showed bountiful potential, and should make NYCFC supports intrigued if not excited. How will Diskerud gel into Jason Kreis’ possible diamond system? Only time will tell; but if anything, the fact that Diskerud’s ability to adapt was on display in this game should ease the minds of supporters going forward, knowing they have a gentleman who can play the midfield position in big moments.
One of the few bright spots in the USMNT performance, Diskerud showed an ability to play both sides of the ball, and contribute well to whichever system he was a part of. A stout, quick midfielder, and a member of the national squad, Diskerud should give any NYCFC fan confidence in the midfield going into the 2015 season.