BRENT LATHAM - Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Midfielder Mikkel Diskerud is interested in wearing the Red, White, and Blue again, but may suit up for Norway this summer as the USSF is yet to inform the Stabaek man of their intentions.
Diskerud, a holding midfielder who is expecting to see action this year in Norway's top-flight Eliteserien says he is anxious to hear from the US if they are interested in his services. He says he never heard back from the USSF after suiting up for the Under-20 team for friendly matches in Portugal last year.
Diskerud featured in two matches for the US in Portugal, collecting three assists in the first game.
"After I played for the US in Portugal, I never got a call back," Diskerud told YA. "In the second game I played out right against Portugal and I was a bit uncomfortable out there against a skilled Portuguese left footed winger. I didn't have a good game at all."
Diskerud says since he didn't know where he stood with the US, he accepted a call from Norway's Under-19 team later in the summer. That team ended up playing against an American team in Portugal.
"I saw the US representative in Portugal a few months later, before the game we played against them. He asked me 'Have you heard back from Rongen?' and I said 'no.' He said 'that's weird,' but no one ever called me after that."
Diskerud, who has a Norwegian father and American mother, says he doesn't know if accepting the Norway call might have affected his chances of wearing the American crest. American U-20 coach Thomas Rongen has said on numerous occasions that a primary criteria for selection of a dual national is a player's desire to represent the US.
The Stabaek man says he feels American, and visits family in Arizona each winter. He says he considered scholarship offers from colleges in the US before signing a pro contract last year in Norway.
"I didn't want to give up this chance to become a professional," Diskerud says. "College seasons in the US are only three months long, and you only train five times a week, and you really can't develop as a professional that way."
The 19-year old recently played for Norway's U-19 in a friendly against Italy, and says he is in the running to play in this summer's UEFA qualifying tournament in France. He said he is unsure about the FIFA rules regarding playing for different national youth teams, but if he is given the chance to play for Norway, it will be hard to turn down.
"If I say no to Norway, and the US doesn't want me, I will have lost my chance," the young man said. "That will have been a bad decision. Since I haven't heard from the US, I guess I'm closest to Norway. If I knew more about the situation it would be different."
The Norwegian-American said he would still be very likely to accept a call from the US leading up to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in September, for which the US has just qualified.
"I would say yes," Diskerud said when asked if he would take a call-up, and pledge his allegiance to the US. "I am very sure I would do something like that."
"It would be nice to know so I can make a decision."