If you look solely at the statistics from Saturday's Philadelphia Union match against New York City FC, it will look like Mix Diskerud had a quiet afternoon. Just one total shot and one shot on goal are the only numbers in his stat line. No goals. No assists. Not even an offsides, free kick committed, or foul suffered. In 90 minutes of play the statistical line shows Mix as almost not even being involved.
However, if you watched the game you'll know Mix was actually the best player on the field by far for NYCFC. He controlled the midfield, both offensively and defensively. I lost count how many times he tracked back and saved Jeb Brovsky after Eric Ayuk went by him and looked to be off to the races down the sideline. It seemed every clearance from McCarthy (that didn't sail out of bounds of course) or forward pass attempt from Michael Lahoud found it's way to Diskerud's feet. Almost every attack seemed to either start from him after winning possession, or worked it's way to him before moving forward. On the David Villa goal, it was a cutting pass from Mix, which Villa then back heeled to a team mate that started the move. Name a dangerous play from Saturday's match and I'm sure if you rewound the tape, the ball started with Mix.
Mix is set to have another big impact on the midweek match up between the two teams, but for a very different reason. Usually getting called up to the national team is a great honor. I'm not saying that this call up is any different, but it happens outside of the FIFA international calendar, allowing for league games to take place. Playing in San Antonio on Wednesday night means he will be unavailable to play in the Bronx on Thursday night. A big bonus for Jim Curtin and the Union as they look to start their first winning streak of the season.
One of the main struggles for an expansion side is how they handle their depth. Whoever enters the game will be less effective than Mix and will mean that players like Brovsky are more vulnerable. Can the Union take advantage of this absence? Will Ayuk have a breakout game? Tell us what you think below and what do you expect from the game?