Despite US snub, Mix Diskerud still excited about "gift" of Copa America

NEW YORK – One day after being left off Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for the Copa América Centenario, Mix Diskerud turned the corner from disappointed player to super-fan, while leaving the door open for a possible 11th-hour inclusion.

“To have the Copa América here is a gift,” the New York City FC midfielder told MLSsoccer.com. “I pray that people come out to enjoy the splendor and competitiveness of all these games, not only played by the United States and the Mexicans. One of the best parts of the world’s greatest game is coming this way.

“I hope tons of Americans become new and better connoisseurs of the real football during an exceptional June,” he added. “My heart is going to be there.”

Diskerud, who was part of the US national team's preliminary 40-man roster, said he feels good and is ready to step in should there be an injury. For NYCFC, he has made 10 appearances, including seven starts, and has one goal and two assists.

“I feel in good shape and I know, from what I have watched and read, the guys Klinsmann picked are in great form as well,” Diskerud said. “Klinsmann said that if any midfielder gets incapacitated before June 4, he will have to make a new decision, so I am still on the team. So [are] the rest of the 40 players on the early roster.”

Diskerud, 25, has been a regular for the national team under Klinsmann, scoring six goals in 38 appearances. He was named to Klinsmann’s rosters for the last two CONCACAF Gold Cups, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and recent World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala.

This is Diskerud’s first major exclusion since the CONCACAF Cup against Mexico on Oct. 10, 2015.