When Mauro Diaz went down clutching his ankle against the Seattle Sounders at Toyota Stadium on October 16, FC Dallas fans knew their postseason dreams had taken a heavy hit, but as the new season looms, the uncertainty is stifling.
What will Clavijo, Pareja, and team do? Start the new season with a new formation? Find someone to fill in for Diaz on a temporary basis? Look to move on just in case Mauro won’t ever be back to 100%?
As Carter Baum reports in his great piece on FCDallas.com, Clavijo and company know it’s not an easy fix.
“It's already challenging to find somebody like Mauro. It's not easy and you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket because we know we have Mauro,” he said. “We're not looking for an attacking midfielder that is the best in the league for the next 20 years. We're looking for an attacking midfielder that can help this team win games, who understands the league, who is good enough to fill Mauro's shoes and is ready for those challenges that we may have.”
One option is to look within the league for that potential diamond in the rough player who needs a change of scenery and new team to rejuvenate his career.
Exhibit A: Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud
Mix was one of those US national team players who always seemed on the edge of breaking out, cutting his teeth and emerging in the Tippeligaen in Norway with Stabæk and Rosenborg. Due to his mother originally being from Arizona, Mix begin to play in the U-20s for the US in 2008. He has gone on to feature for the US Soccer about 38 times, scoring 6 goals. You can see some of his highlights here, showing off the flashes of skill that made him tantalizing to watch.
In January of 2015, Mix Diskerud made the anticipated moved to New York City FC in their inaugural season. On the plus side, he’s put in a combined 40 appearances with 4 goals in his two years with the club, but on the downside, the majority of those appearances were in 2015. In 2016, Mix has managed just 13 games with a single goal to show for it. Recent reports are clear. Head Coach Patrick Viera and the club are ready to move on from Diskerud.
The question is - is FC Dallas the right fit? Would the price be agreeable?
From having see Mix in action, it’s clear that he could be a potential stopgap until Mauro Diaz is back and healthy. Will he be quite as good as Mauro? Probably not, but he has flashed more than enough ability to do the kind of possession and offensive work that FC Dallas needs at the point of attack. Best of all, he doesn’t count for an international spot and has more experience than tossing in a homegrown player right out of the gate. In a pinch, Mix might even be able to line up as a winger.
Plus, I imagine Mix is open to a change and an opportunity to start for a contender to show what he can do and reemerge as a regular for the US Men’s National Team.
There are two major issues with bringing in Diskerud.
The first is his salary. According to NYCFC’s salary figures, he counted as $761,250 against the cap last year. I am sure that NYCFC paid that down somehow, but I don’t think FC Dallas will be interested in swallowing all of that. Could a salary renegotiation be worked out? Would NYCFC help pay some of that down? For that price, unless you are getting a sure thing, I’m not sure FC Dallas is that interested.
The second is his ego. Rumors have always swirled about issues with his father and his attitude. The question has been - who over-inflated his deal with MLS in the first place for a player that was certainly part of the US national team picture but never an absolute regular? Were expectations simply too high? I don't blame him for complaining about a lack of playing time, but for a guy who couldn’t outplay Tommy McNamara for a starting spot, is he ready to put in the hard work? Would Mix be open to finding a longer term role as a role player on a MLS roster rather than the star his salary suggests?
I think Mix is worth exploring, because I have faith Oscar Pareja could help a still young and growing player like Diskerud “find his way”. But not for that price. If Clavijo can get together with NYCFC staff and find a solution, let’s see if Mix can be the fix for Dallas.
What do you think?