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Next stop for Mix: Sweden

IFK Goteborg looks like Diskerud’s destination

New York City FC v Orlando City SC Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Mix Diskerud made his mark in Scandinavia. If he’s going to rebuild his career, it looks like that’s where it’s going to happen.

According to Swedish outlet Expressen, the 26-year-old midfielder will be loaned out to IFK Goteborg of the Swedish Allsvenskan. Goteborg finished in fourth place last season, ten points out of a Europa League qualification spot. Because it’s a loan, New York City will still be paying his salary, even though it doesn’t count against the team’s cap anymore.

Diskerud came to the five boroughs with a lot of fanfare. For a club that dealing with the imbroglio of Frank Lampard’s ambiguous contract situation, signing a telegenic national team star in the making was a welcome distraction. But despite multiple opportunities, the one-time USMNT player could never find traction playing for New York City.

Viewed as a “number 10” by fans, Diskerud struggled to fit in an expansion team midfield that forced him to cover large amounts of ground and complement two aging players in Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo — neither of which were fully fit to play when they arrived in New York City.

Despite that, Diskerud made 27 appearances for the Blues, scoring three times. With Kreis’ departure and the arrival of French midfield legend Patrick Vieira, hopes were high that the new Gotham manager would manage to unlock Diskerud’s potential and make him a mainstay of the team.

It didn’t work out that way. Vieira made it clear that he preferred “grinders” — players willing to get dirty in practice and work fanatically to improve themselves. Diskerud, talented as he might potentially be, has never been that type of player. After making a few starts at the beginning of the season, Vieira quickly benched Diskerud. Diskerud made one more start for New York City — a disastrous Open Cup loss to the NASL’s New York Cosmos — and never played again for the Blues.

His lack of playing time in New York also affected his playing time for the United States. Despite inheriting Landon Donovan’s number 10 shirt, he played sporadically for the USMNT — never in any games that counted -- and his last competitive appearance for the national team came as a substitute on October 13, 2015, in a lackluster 1-0 loss to Costa Rica.

Going back to Scandinavia might be just the thing for Diskerud. That’s where he built his mystique, playing for Stabæk and Rosenborg in Norway’s Tippeligaen. Goteborg isn’t a middling club; they’re the only Nordic club to win a European trophy. Goteborg won the UEFA Cup in 1982 and 1987 — the forerunner of the Europa League. They’ve won 18 league titles, second only to Malmö’s 22.

If Diskerud can succeed at Goteborg, he can go a long way towards rebuilding his career and becoming a factor both professionally and for the national team. At 26, Diskerud should be in the prime of his career, not warming a bench or stadium seat. Hopefully, this loan spell in Sweden can get him back on track.