Vieira: Diskerud and Saunders searching for playing opportunities

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Christian Araos

Mix Diskerud and Josh Saunders’ search for playing time is not taking them to Jacksonville. Both players were left off of New York City FC’s preseason roster and are currently searching for a club that will afford them more playing time, head coach Patrick Vieira told reporters Thursday.

“Mix and Josh are not here because I gave them a few more days to try and find a solution and the next step for them,” Vieira said. “We are talking about two players who have really good experience at the international level, especially for Mix and in the league for Josh. Both players want to play and that is something that will not be guaranteed at New York City.”

Both Diskerud and Saunders will have time to find a club that is interested as their teammates head to Ecuador to play Emelec in a preseason friendly February 8. City have four goalkeepers on their roster after acquiring Sean Johnson in a trade with Atlanta United. Saunders’ fate with the club, however, was sealed when Vieira dropped him for Eirik Johansen before last season’s playoffs and cemented the moment the club acquired Johnson.

“We found a new goalkeeper and we decided that as a football club that it will be better for Josh to try to find another club where he will play more often than he think he would be playing in New York,” Vieira said.

Diskerud spent a day training with Tromsø earlier this month but has only played once for NYCFC since last June. He remains under contract with City requiring the club to commit $300,000 of allocation funds to meet his salary budget charge. Vieira said he gave Diskerud a few more days to find a club that will offer him more playing time but he has no idea where Diskerud is at the moment.

“I just gave him a few days for him to try and find a way that he can play a little bit more often with a team,” Vieira said. “Then we have to speak with [sporting director Claudio Reyna] and find out because if he doesn’t find a team, he’s still under contract with us and that means he will have to come back. We gave him a few days to challenge himself and try to find a way to find a team where he will be able to play a little bit more often.”

MLSsoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal reported this afternoon that interest in Diskerud around MLS is next to none, echoing past EoS reports. The MLSsoccer.com report added that a loan or transfer back to the Tippelagen seems the more likely option. If a move cannot be arranged, City are allowed to buyout one contract without any salary cap repercussions during the offseason. Should Saunders and Diskerud depart, it would leave David Villa and Khiry Shelton as the only players to have played in the team’s first game still with the team.


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