Portland Timbers

What's in the mix for Mix Diskerud?

Plenty of discussion this last week or so about Mix Diskerud from a number of punters, pundits and his agent/Dad. Lots of build up and probably a wee bit of posturing from both sides.

But in case you’ve been asleep a good article to read came out awhile ago from MLSSoccer.com. Here’s the link in case you missed it: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/12/16/american-exports-diskeruds-dad-confirms-porter-contact

While I am not inclined to chase things down a whole lot I figured it would be good to do some research and see what I could find out about Mix. My thanks to a new contact who has some knowledge and background about Rosenborg BK. I was also able to get a flash of info from OPTA while resourcing the archives of Eliteserien and the 2012/2013 Europa League statistics.

Here’s what I’ve been able to come up with that may be of interest for you as time passes and PTFC continue the rebuild process.

  1. The average attendance for Rosenborg BK during the 2012/2013 Europa League Group Stage (the second tier to the Champions League) appears to be about 10,600 (give or take a hundred or so).

  2. The capacity for their home stadium (Nye Lerkendal Stadion) appears to be 21,850.

  3. In speaking with a source familiar with Rosenborg and Mix Diskerud’s style of play the phrase ‘he’s more of a hardworking box-to-box midfielder; with excellent touch’ came to mind first as opposed to an ‘attacking midfielder’.

  4. The source also indicated that Mix was not a winger and that crossing was not his greatest asset; a small flash of OPTA data indicates he has a very strong passing completed percentage. He is also known for being a ‘right footed player’.

  5. In looking at the recent form of RBK it appears a primary formation run by Head Coach Jonnson is a 4-4-1-1 or on occasion the 4-5-1 or 4-3-2-1. In the games where lineups were provided with a pitch picture Mix started more often on the inside left of the midfield 4. One game saw him start on the outside left, one on the inside right and one as the outside left midfielder in the 3 of the 4-3-2-1.

  6. So even the lineup cards seem to indicate Mix does not take on the role of playing a winger or attacking midfielder. And given those locations it would also seem to indicate he is not on the pitch for crossing the ball with his right foot. It would appear that the source for my info was spot-on. More likely he is there to retain and/or gain possession of the ball in the midfield for the other, more precise players, to slot home the goals.

  7. This is not a bad thing; everyone has a role on the pitch and, in my view (others may feel or think otherwise) the single most critical “team” role of any player is to retain or gain possession of the ball in order to support the team in creating goal scoring opportunities.

  8. Mix is not a striker with renowned pedigree in putting the ball into the back of the net. To have the expectation that he is going to do that without every seeing him play is not fair, and those high expectations will no doubt lead to inappropriate disappointment.

  9. Mix appeared in 6 games logging 478 minutes with 1 goal and 1 assist. In considering the amount of individual minutes available to Mix (900) it appeared he was not a full-time player. Details on minutes played for the regular season last year, and other primary statistics, are provided a bit further below.

  10. So what sort of playing time did Mix get in the Eliteserien for last year (2012 Campaign)?

  11. In last year’s season Mix logged 926 minutes out of a possible 2520 minutes. In that time it appears he started 10 times and came on as a substitute once. Data indicates he scored 1 goal for RBK last campaign.

  12. In checking the very limited statistical data on Mix, OPTA, (also used here in the MLS) appears to indicate that Mix is more likely to ply his trade in the defending half of the pitch as opposed to attacking half of the pitch. His focus box seems to indicate his productive area just inside the defending half of the pitch.

  13. In looking at (what I would call the attacking midfielder for RBK) the statistics are quite different. Borek Dockal logged 2227 minutes while netting 10 goals in 27 appearances. Dockal however did not lead RBK in goals scored last year; that honor went to Swedish striker Rade Prica, with 11 goals.

  14. Here are the primary ‘midfielders’ statistics who play alongside Mix at RBK:

Name, Age, Minutes Played, Goals
B. Dockal, 24, 2227, 10
J. Svensson, 19, 2116, 3
M. Henriksen, 20, 1596, 1
J. Chibuike, 24, 1395, 4
O. Selnaes, 18, 1253, 1
M. Diskerud, 22, 926, 1

My data source for some basic RBK data is: http://www.soccerway.com/teams/norway/rosenborg-ballklubb/

So after offering up some basic info for your consideration here are some additional submittals for deliberation:

  1. At the age of 22 Mix is not the youngest player logging minutes for RBK; three other players, all younger than Mix, had more playing time in the midfield than Mix last season.

  2. If Mix does decide to join PTFC this year I would submit his time as a defending central midfielder will be difficult to garner. Like last year there will be a logjam in the midfield and minutes will be precious for those who return and those new to the squad.

  3. Of interest is that Mix has the same physical characteristics as Mobi Fehr, another new addition to PTFC. Both are just over 6′ tall and both weigh in around 155-160 pounds. Might a silver lining include an idea for Mix to develop as a right fullback? Other “box-to-box” midfielders have been known to transition into the back four before…

  4. Given the amount of playing time Mix has had with RBK is it reasonable to expect that he will see more playing time with PTFC? It’s hard to say but I hope that is not a condition to hold Mix back in joining PTFC. Here are some basic advantages I see for Mix to join Timbers:

a. If Mix was to transfer to PTFC he wouldn’t be playing in front of a crowd (about 10K? per game) he’d be playing in front of the best MLS fanbase in the country; 21K in a SOLDOUT stadium with routine national television coverage!

b. If Mix was to transfer to PTFC he would be playing under the guidance and direction of Caleb Porter, a known, cerebral Head Coach, working to the same type of system/style of play that the USMNT works to.

c. If Mix was to transfer to PTFC he would be covered by an American Media and watched by an American fan base that is gaining more passion and knowledge about this superb sport everyday.

  1. A player that lines up as a central defending midfielder usually has a great motor; PTFC are bringing on new players who also have great motors. Likewise PTFC are adding players with pedigree in “big game conditions”. While the Europa League is not the Champions League it is a pedigree league for top European teams.

  2. It would seem that adding Mix to the mix would strengthen the overall flexibility of PTFC in who and when they trot out certain players depending upon conditions, the formation and the opponent. Variation in attack is a good thing; adding Mix to the recipe enhances that variation.

  3. The picture in how PTFC takes shape continues to remain ‘fuzzy’; a talented player like Mix on this team is a good thing for the team and a good thing for Mix.

In conclusion, a few things to consider:

  1. Clearly the Rosenborg fans are keen to keep Mix; my source indicated there is not a contract yet with Mix but their fingers are crossed in hope that he stays with the club.

  2. Taking off the rose colored glasses; I don’t see Mix Diskerud coming into PTFC and starting if the intent would be to slot him in as a defending central midfielder while Diego Chara and others remain in this squad.

  3. For now I would expect him to come into PTFC and ‘grow/develop’ adn lend flexibility to this team as it builds the bench and improves variation in attacking/defending. While others may have a different view the initial statistics just don’t seem to support him coming into this side and starting.

  4. However this plays out remains unclear; if the twitter offering from MP was in reaction to discussions with Mix then it is what it is.

  5. For me I remain steadfastly stubborn and stubbornly steadfast that PTFC will continue to strengthen their squad; whether part of that puzzle piece is Mix Diskerud only the PTFC front office knows.

You can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/ChrisGluckPTFC

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012 and occasionally write for Soccer Yanks. A recent highlight in my short time as an MLS Analyst was being invited to present my Possession with Purpose MLS Soccer Analysis at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. With the increased visibility of my work I have created a new Domain at www.possessionwithpurpose.com. My background in soccer started in the United Kingdom, where, as an American, I was the General Manager and President of an English Youth Football Club just outside of Thetford, England. (Barnham Bulldogs FC). I also served as a head coach for U-11/12's, and obtained my English FA Youth License Certification through Norwich City FC. Upon returning to the U.S., I was an Assistant Coach and eventually a Head Coach within the Ajax Youth Football Club organization, Kent Washington. I have recently started a small business ...Possession with Purpose (Soccer Analysis & consulting) and I retain COPYRIGHT on The Possession With Purpose ideas and research published on these sites.

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