Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Late Tackle 02 15 2017: Timbers v. Caps and the Enduring Mystery of Mix

C’mon, Portland. Faster dammit.
Damned if all the Major League Soccer games going on don’t give today that regular season feeling. Yessir, teams are pressing on the accelerator, seeing if they can’t on-ramp into 2017 at freeway speeds. 2017’s coming, people…

In spite of the caption under that image, my mood regarding most things Portland Timbers remains pretty damn Zen. I’m open enough mentally (emotionally? spiritually?) that I don’t need to see anything in particular in tonight’s preseason game against the Vancouver Whitecaps – even if, as tweeted earlier, I’d get more than a little pleasure out of, say, Portland keeping their sheets clean while dropping a four-post on Vancouver. Or, in check-list form:
1) I want to see defenders, whomever they may be, look like they know where they need to be;
 2) I want to see the attack sharpen and, specifically, to see someone besides Diego Valeri find and seize the big moments (say, Sebastian Blanco).
Basically, so long as the systems function satisfactorily in the decisive portions of the field, I’m good. The defense remains the big one for me; possession can hang to some extent (though I will cheer it when and where I see it), and I won’t panic if the team can’t score, so long as the chances come.

Needless to say, I’ll be more punctilious about where everything lines up on the ruler when I watch the Timbers’ final preseason game on February 25 against the Los Angeles Galaxy…OK, yes, a loss tonight – or, god forbid, a blowout – will make me skittish.

OK, enough of that. On to today’s MLS topic...

Mystery Mix
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been consistently impressed by (barely) New York City FC midforwardwinger, Mix Diskerud? (No, winger doesn’t belong; the point is, he’s a bit of a mess.) Can you recall a particular moment when Mix impressed you? (Personally, I have vague memories of a great goal – something about a rising shot that looked like it’d pass through the roof of the net and keep on going – but that, 1) could be myth; and 2) is not enough.) Have you ever met someone who loves Mix, or even has good things to say about him?

If, like me, you answered “no” to all of the above, you’re probably not surprised, like me, that Mix is not, per a report in SBISoccer, currently in NYCFC’s plan for 2017. The real question is how a player with his thin, amorphous upside rose as high as he did. One can find the first answer in Mix’s Wikipedia page – e.g., Thomas Rongen’s fault – but other people seconded that judgment. Here, I’m talking about Bob Bradley (Mix started under his tenure) and Jurgen Klinsmann (who continued to call-up, though not always play, Mix; NOTE: This undermines my personal theory/wish that everything that’s wrong with the national team is Klinsmann’s fault).

It’s not like Diskerud is the first semi-high-profile player to see his stock deflate over time. Flashes in the pan happen all the time, but they usually manifest as flashes, or even things like a misguided opinion about a promising youngster. Mix, though, hit the weird sort of “multifecta” of doing just about everything a field soccer player can do at a palpably average level. I mean, the guy couldn’t even play enforcer; he’d only stick in a couple clumsy fouls when he tried.

I’m not saying all of that, or even any of it, just to shit on Diskerud. I come at this from a place of incredulity, not anger. At any rate, SBI’s piece ends by speculating that, with no one in MLS willing to take him at his current salary, a return to Norway seems like the best thing for Mix. And I wish him luck if he goes (see? not angry).

The thing I can’t get to is, what size pay cut would it take for you to accept Mix for your team? And oof.

All for today. I’ll be back tonight after the game…

No comments:

Post a Comment