Thursday, August 7, 2014

Diskerud Bubble Burst

Jozy Altidore, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Jermaine Jones and Mix Diskerud have all been linked with Major League Soccer teams as the August 6th deadline to sign players currently contracted drew to a close. All of them high profile USMNT team players and all of them likely looking for a big deal similar to the gaudy one's Micheal Bradley and Clint Dempsey received over the last 12 months.

Kljestan, Jones and Diskerud were the closest it seems. Jones may still actually be in play because he isn't under contract, but he isn't getting anywhere near the reported couple million he was seeking. According to Bruce Arena's comments today, Kljestan appears to be a casualty of MLS rules and regulations and Diskerud... we'll get to Mix in a minute.

...but first: Why wouldn't these players poke around MLS for a exorbitant deal should be the question. The league set the market for players with Bradley ($6.5m in wages) and Dempsey ($7m) when they paid premiums to pry them away from foreign clubs and the other guys want a piece of that as well.

Their combined wage makes up nearly 10% of all salaries in MLS and if you look down the list of other USMNT players (or fringe) you see that they are getting market value. Edu, Johnson, Wondolowski, Zusi, Besler, Gonzalez... these are all guys making around that $600k level.

Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn "Mix" Diskerud

Late last night Taylor Twellman reported that the Columbus Crew offered Mix Diskerud double his current salary. Most believe would have pushed the figure up to around $0.6 to 1.0 million. The same amount the rest of the USMNT band makes - save for Dempsey and Bradley - and herein is the problem for some of the younger USMNT players.

Mix, along with Altidore and Aron Jóhannsson, are a completely different breed of US International. They are young, talented and will likely feature in upcoming tournaments. This $0.6 - 1.0 million dollar range that MLS likes to tout as overpaying - is more what they are worth right now (or will be on their next contract), on the open market. MLS's decision to actually overpay for Dempsey and Bradley made sure of that.

Mix Diskerud
Diskerud became a big fan favorite here in Columbus. His happy Norwegian attitude and good looks got him noticed by a handful but that turn and assist he had at Crew Stadium last year against Mexico, well. Swarm of native Ohio bees to honey right there.

After the deal finally failed to connect late last night after months of courtship, Investor / Operator Anthony Precourt expressed his disappointment with not being able to get him. Early today Head Coach and Sporting Director expressed the same. Hard not to feel for the organization. It would have been a huge get.

But say they did get him? Then what. What about next year? Would we be seeing Diskerud in local Papa John's pizza commercials? Hanging out at Hendocs or 4th Street? Local lasik TV commercials? Could MLS and the Crew keep affording to increase his salary, along with his contemporaries, for another four years?

Rushmore was my life. Now you are!

That's bullshit!


What do you really think is going to happen between us? You think we're going to have sex?

(Max looks shocked.)

That's kind of a cheap way to put it, don't you think?


Not if you've never fucked before, it isn't.

The Crew pursuit of Mix is reminds me of a moment in Wes Anderson's Rushmore when Rosemary Cross decides turn to Max, who had be trying to win her over since he first set eyes on her, and ask what he might do if he did actually have her.

In this exchange it's the fans, Precourt and Berhalter that are Fischer. Columbus was their Rushmore but it changed to Diskerud. I found it really strange the way an entire organization became so intensely focused on one player.

(Miss Cross moves towards Max with her hand outstretched. Max retreats backwards, banging into desks and chairs. Miss Cross stops.)

Please. Get out of my room.

(Max walks out of the room and stands in the doorway.)

(Miss Cross turns away and goes back to taking down her maps from the wall. Max watches her for a minute.) 

(Max leaves.)

"The supporters of Columbus Crew might not be the biggest by shire numbers – but please go check what they write, and how they critique. Are they not the most cunning of all the MLS supporters - as we speak?" - Mix Diskerud on BigSoccer (or someone pretending to be him for a few years now, either way... here's how the whole thing ended).

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