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Mix Diskerud aims for bigger USMNT role with Jurgen Klinsmann’s advice

Ecuador v United States

EAST HARTFORD, CT - OCTOBER 10: Mix Diskerud #10 of the United States celebrates his first half goal against Ecuador during an international friendly at Rentschler Field on October 10, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

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Mix Diskerud’s absence from the game pitch during the World Cup was a source of consternation for many fans of the US men’s national team.

After all, wasn’t he one of the players that kept their beloved former captain, Landon Donovan, from making his way to Brazil?

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But if you ask the 24-year-old Diskerud, he understood his role at the World Cup. And he now he wants more.

From the Associated Press:

“Not difficult at all. It was huge to be part of the whole group,” Diskerud said. “It’s not only on the field you contribute, it’s off the field, the training sessions and everything. I feel I was a big part of the group and I learned from the best. Hopefully I’ll be a bigger part going forward.”

What does he have to do to become a star for the Stars and Stripes? Well, scoring like he did on Friday against Ecuador is a good thing, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has told him what else he needs to get further into the mix (pun absolutely intended).

And he told us, too. More from the AP:

“Mix is growing,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “I think the message to him after the World Cup was: If you want to break into this team as a starter one day, you’ve got to step it up. You have to become more aggressive. You have to challenge more one-against-one situations. You have to become physical. And can he play? Absolutely. Does he have tremendous vision? Yes. But he needs these other elements on the international stage to break through.”

When Diskerud plays, the Americans are 17-1-4.

That’s a quality record.

The 6-foot Rosenborg midfielder has five goals in 55 appearances for his Norwegian club, and has a better strike rate for the States (four goals in 22 caps). He’s been a steady contributor in the Tippeligaen between stints at Stabaek and Rosenborg, and almost made a deadline day move to MLS according to several reports.

It’s reasonable to think that with better exposure -- surely you’d like to see him playing in a better league than Norway -- Diskerud can be a focal point, even a fulcrum, for the USMNT offense in 2015 and beyond. The sooner that happens, the better.

Follow @nicholasmendola