Mix Diskerud is close to signing with Xolos de Tijuana in Mexico, according to ESPN reporter Tom Marshall:
Diskerud was previously linked with the Columbus Crew, per SB Nation. The Crew wanted to sign the midfielder as a designated player, according to Patrick Guldan of the Massive Report. On the surface, it's not a good omen that a U.S. international may not join an MLS team, but it's not all bad news for the league.
Diskerud was born in Oslo, Norway, to a Norwegian father and American mother. He grew up in his birth country and represented the nation at the youth level, before joining with the U.S. men's national team. It's also where the 24-year-old began his professional career.
It would be a significantly bigger deal if Clint Dempsey or Michael Bradley declined to join the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC, respectively, for a Mexican club. Those two grew up in the United States and started their careers in the United States.
Diskerud isn’t as connected to the league or the country as much as some of his teammates. However, losing the American international is a worry for a variety of reasons.
Liga MX offers more money, and it isn't a single entity like MLS. There are no salary caps or confusing, non-transparent rules to figure out where a player will sign.
According to the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, Diskerud would have to go through the allocation ranking as a national team player coming from a league abroad.
However, MLS apparently has a separate system for designated players, wherein they go through a unique allocation order. This rule isn't listed on the MLS roster regulations page.
On the other hand, Jermaine Jones went through a blind draw before landing in New England. He was inked to a designated player deal by the Revolution in August.
All three systems contradict one another. It's not clear where Diskerud would have signed. Assuming he came to MLS, the midfielder may not have even ended up with his preferred team.
The MLS players could use the failure of capturing Diskerud as leverage during CBA negotiations. Scrapping some of the allocation rules and raising the cap could attract someone of that caliber.
Diskerud is a solid player. He would be marketable as a member of the USMNT, and he's an energetic midfielder with terrific passing attributes. Losing out on someone like the ex-Stabaek man is a shame because he would have positively impacted a few teams in the center of the pitch.
From a USMNT perspective, Diskerud will be with fellow Americans Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Paul Arriola, Fernando Arce and Alejandro Guido. Herculez Gomez and Esteban Rodriguez are owned by Xolos as well but are out on loan. Having all of those familiar faces will make it a lot easier for the 24-year-old to settle with his new club.
Liga MX is also an entertaining league where Diskerud can test himself against some strong competition domestically. There's also the Copa Libertadores or the CONCACAF Champions League. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann should be pleased with that.
Diskerud's potential move to Tijuana won't be the end of the world for MLS, but it’s a reminder that some players may not want to deal with a single entity. However, he could have been offered more money. Sometimes, it's that simple.
As for the USMNT, if Diskerud is a starter and stays fit with Xolos, then this is a great move for him from a national-team point of view.