Mix Diskerud dedicates historic first New York City FC goal to traveling fans: "They deserve it"

A long preseason allows for a lot of reflection. For Mix Diskerud, he pondered one question: What would he do if he scored the first goal in New York City FC history?

The decision came a few hours before the United States international did just that in a 1-1 draw Sunday evening with fellow expansion side Orlando City FC at the Citrus Bowl in both team’s Major League Soccer debut.

“I decided before the game if I score I’m going to run toward the [NYCFC] fans who are here, they deserve it,” Diskerud said. “I was looking and touching my badge.”

Diskerud honored the traveling support from the Third Rail, a small contingent almost lost in a sea of 62,000-plus purple-clad Orlando City fans.

“We noticed them before the game. It’s always nice to have a small group; the more the merrier,” Diskerud said.

Diskerud’s goal was straight off the training ground, pairing with David Villa on a short corner in the 76th minute.

“We’ve been practicing on that version of a corner kick,” Diskerud said. “First time around I was going to shoot, but I got pressed and played it out to David again. And we renewed the whole thing, and I got it back from him.”

Villa took on Orlando City defender Rafael Ramos, and when Cristian Higuita came to help, the former Spanish international slid the ball to Diskerud, who took a touch inside the 18-yard box before curling the ball past a diving Donovan Ricketts inside the far post.

“I didn’t have too much time; my touch was a little bit closer to me than I wanted it, but I think I kind of got Ricketts off guard because I scooped it kind of quick,” Diskerud said.

Diskerud joins his coach, Jason Kreis, in the record books. Kreis is the only player in MLS history to score the first goal for two different franchises, doing it first for the Dallas Burn against Kansas City on April 18, 1996 and again for Real Salt Lake against the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 9, 2005.

“To see that ball go in was an amazing feeling,” Diskerud said.