Friday, November 12, 2010
Stabaek midfielder Mikkel Diskerud says he is over the moon with excitement after receiving his first call from the United States senior national team.
Diskerud had previously worn the US jersey with Thomas Rongen's Under-20 team last fall at the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.
Now the Norwegian-American will make the step up to join Bob Bradley's squad for Wednesday's friendly against South Africa.
Upon learning about his inclusion into the team, Diskerud revealed the emotions he felt at that moment and what he hopes to accomplish in his short stay with the team.
"It was pure joy and happiness," Diskerud exclaimed to YA. "I expect to contribute, but I know that in order to build a team, it is just as important to contribute off the field as it is on the field."
It is also not lost on the dual citizen the significance of playing the Bafana Bafana in South Africa in front of their past president, a historical figure who Diskerud clearly respects and admires.
"I will do my best to honor the Nelson Mandela challenge, and the historic spirit it embodies," he noted.
The team is scheduled to meet up in Cape Town on Saturday to begin training for Wednesday's contest. It will be a roster full of national team novices, most of whom Diskerud has never met or played against.
"I know Gale [Agbossoumonde] who I spent time with in Egypt, and I know Clarence [Goodson], but only as my opponent when we have gone head to head in Eliteserien in Norway, he for Start and I for Stabæk."
The 20 year old attacker just competed his second full season with Stabaek where he was a stalwart at right midfielder for the team.
After spending his initial youth days at Frigg, Diskerud joined the Stabaek system in 2005 and later made his senior team debut in 2008.
He feels that his development and progression within the Stabaek system has helped him become the player he is today and that he will be out to represent his club with pride on Wednesday.
"I have been eating fruits and vegetables from my neighbor next door since I was a kid, and now it is finally paying off, I guess," he jokingly concluded. "In Frigg and Stabæk I have hopefully been taught enough to take on all lions that the RSA can throw at us."
Diskerud appeared in 30 matches this season in the Eliteserien, starting in 29 of those and scoring a total of four goals.