Mix Diskerud opens up about crazy transfer saga… on message board?

One of the wildest and wackiest transfer stories of the summer didn’t play out on Wednesday at Barcelona or Manchester United or even QPR and Harry Redknapp.  No, it happened at the close of the MLS transfer window revolving around the Columbus Crew and US National Team midfielder Mix Diskerud.

As the MLS transfer deadline approached, Grant Wahl filed a report in Sports Illustrated that said Diskerud had a handshake deal with the Crew before a late 11th hour snag thanks to demands from his father/agent.

Columbus thought it had a handshake deal on terms with U.S. international Mix Diskerud, only for his father/agent, Paal, to demand more money at the last second, according to multiple sources. As of Wednesday, the MLS summer transfer deadline, the two sides were still trying to work out a deal but had yet to reach one. A similar situation happened in early 2013 when Diskerud nearly joined Portland, only for talks to break down late in the game.

Diskerud’s contract with Rosenborg runs through the end of 2014. Columbus sits atop the MLS Allocation Order, which is used to distribute U.S. internationals that sign with the league (provided their cost doesn’t meet the undisclosed MLS-determined threshold to skip the mechanism).

Wahl then doubled down on Twitter later in the evening.

ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, who has quickly become one of the most trusted sources in breaking MLS news, chimed in with more details.

Crew fans sat in agony over the course of the day on Wednesday wondering if a deal was going to get done or not.  Finally, owner Anthony Precourt tweeted that despite their best efforts, #MixOneFour was off the table.

But that doesn’t mean the story ends there.

Diskerud’s father Paal, the subject of Wahl’s report, spoke out against the SI writer’s story, saying that there were no such demands that stopped a deal from happening.  Here’s a rough Google translate from the Norwegian press:

“The Grant Wahl writes in his article of today – is wrong. I have because of the article contacted Gregg Berhalter Columbus Crew. He is the leading negotiations for players for Columbus Crew, and he says he will be available for the first journalists wanting his confirmation that what is said about me in the article is not correct, says Diskerud.”

Berhalter did speak with the press today, and indeed denied that there was a handshake deal in place.

But that doesn’t mean the story ends there.  Incredibly, this story has another twist.

Diskerud himself apparently wrote this post on a Big Soccer message board to tell his side of the Crew transfer saga and what really happened.  The profile joined the Big Soccer board in 2009 and began answering questions in the thread “Mikkel Diskerud can choose US or Norway NT.”  Diskerud appears to be a regular poster on the board, commenting and interacting with fans.

Although there’s no way to actually confirm that this is really a USMNT international posting on a random message board, all the indications are that this is from Diskerud.  If it’s not Diskerud, someone has been doing the best catfishing job in sports since Lennay Kekua:

Last week I got to talk to both Gregg Berhalter and Anthony Precourt.

I like them both. I think they like me. I do not think Columbus could ask for a more dedicated coach, or have a coach with more dedication in creating a playing style that will be recognizable and with a unique stamp of “Columbus Crew”. I believe that Anthony Precourt patiently will see to that – because he is that type of guy, I think.

Grant Wahl has made some erroneous statements – making some people look very bad. He says his source is rumors. And that is of course one way to cover a lie, or to press people to give you information you are not entitled to by asking them for clarification – which a journalist of course in turn may use only parts and portions of. In my book – I would give Grant Wahl a straight red card – and with three weeks total suspension.

I have had a lawyer representing me and having had him as the one who has kept communication between Gregg, MLS, Rosenborg, and all others I have had obligations to in this matter. He has assured me that he has not at all done any of what Grant Wahl accuses my father of. My father has not been negotiating between Rosenborg and Columbus/MLS.

The lawyer has, of course, gone through what I am writing here, in this perticular post.

I am a Mix between US american and Norwegian. I was supposed to be raised equally in the two con tries. Plan was grade school in Norway and high school and college in the US. Because I developed so well at my football clubs in Norway, I pushed High school to college, and when my Stabæk coach begged me to go pro instead of enrolling in a US college – I made a coin flip where my parents were present. It landed on tails – and I signed for Stabæk.

Therefore, I have an urge to, at one point, to live, breathe and evolve as an american person in the united states. Some people say in social media that I would never go to Ohio. I ask them, why not? Isn’t Ohio the most perfect example what the US really is all about. When the democratic part of the USA votes, isn’t Ohio what exemplifies best what US values is? Why wouldn’t Columbus have given me a faster and better understanding of what the USA past, present, right to left, is all about.

What I can tell everybody – is that the best day in my life I had in Ohio. The fans when we finally qualified for the World Cup were the best fans I have ever played for. I guess a lot of them were from Ohio. They lifted us immensely. You have no idea what that means and meant. The supporters of Columbus Crew might not be the biggest by shire numbers – but please go check what they write, and how they critique. Are they not the most cunning of all the MLS supporters – as we speak?

I do not know if I end up in Rosenborg, American football , Europe, or in a really exotic place during the next 5-7 years. 

But I do know that I am lucky and happy either way.

What i am most committed to right now is long term to be a part of Ussoccer in the years ahead and short term try to make Rosenborg advance tonight.

I never thought I’d live to see the day when a top USMNT player took to a message board to call out one of the top soccer reporters in the land and give insights into his own insane transfer saga, but these are the times in which we live.

So for now what we know, again with the caveat that this information comes from a Big Soccer message board of all places is that Mix wants to come to America and play in Columbus, because the town embodies everything right about America (as a Columbus resident, to that I say Amen) and he had a great experience there at the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier.  But for whatever reason, the deal didn’t get done at this time.  That part, at least according to father and son, is still a mystery.  To this point, Wahl hasn’t responded to the Diskeruds questioning his reporting. (UPDATE BELOW)

Diskerud to the Crew was an intriguing scenario and would have brought a much-welcomed jolt of excitement for the franchise.  It’s no secret Precourt wants to do everything he can to rebrand and rebuild the Crew franchise in a more modern and positive light.  And while Gregg Berhalter may be the right choice to lead that reboot in the long-term, the team has struggled mightily to score goals this season and is stuck in mid-table purgatory in a lackluster Eastern Conference.

Furthermore, as more and more prominent USMNT players come back to play in MLS, the Crew sit in a great position currently at the top of the league’s allocation order.  You can question whether or not Diskerud was the right fit for the current squad who badly needs a striker and already has a fantastic playmaker in Federico Higuain.  However, adding another highly touted American international alongside Michael Parkhurst would have done wonders for the Crew and the Columbus market that has been the spiritual home of the USMNT for the last decade-plus.  If the Crew can attract USMNT stars and there can be a renaissance in the Columbus market, it’d be a big win for MLS’s long-term future.  Alas, that star won’t be Diskerud.

For now.

I guess we’ll all have to follow the Big Soccer message boards for updates.

UPDATE: Wahl (and Twellman) are standing by their stories on Twitter, which adds a further level of intrigue given they are two of the most trusted and respected reporters in American soccer.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.