SAN FRANCISCO – Once again, it was the man in the No. 10 shirt that played the hero for the U.S. National Team.
Only this time it wasn’t Landon Donovan, it was bold Norwegian-American midfielder Mix Diskerud who proved decisive in the Americans 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
In his first match donning the No. 10—a decision that U.S. Soccer insists is not finalized—Diskerud had an immediate impact after coming off the bench after the our mark. In the 75th minute, the midfielder found himself at the right place at the right time as he pounced on a rebound created by a Michael Bradley shot and gave the Americans their first goal in their 2-0 win.
Such clutch scoring has been a hallmark of Donovan’s career and Diskerud offered the USMNT a glimpse of life without the USMNT’s all-time leading goal scorer in the first match of their “Send-Off Series” prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Although Diskerud knows that the decision for him to don the No. 10 in Brazil is not set, the midfielder is relishing the chance to wear the number.
“It’s an honor for me,” Diskerud told reporters. “If you look back at all the players who’ve been wearing No. 10 – Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan – so for me, I’m just sort of borrowing it. I’m for sure going to play with Landon again, so he’ll get it back then. No. 10 is just a number, but I understand that a lot of people see it as more than that.
“But I don’t play for the number on the back,” he added. ‘I play for the U.S. crest on my front chest.”