U.S. national team midfielder Mix Diskerud has agreed to a contract to play for New York City FC, the first major move for the Major League Soccer expansion team since its parent company decided to keep Frank Lampard at Manchester City for the rest of the Premier League season.
The 24-year-old Diskerud has five goals in 25 international appearances and was part of the U.S. under-23 team that failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. He was a member of last year's World Cup team but didn't appear in any games in Brazil.
The son of an American mother and Norwegian father, Diskerud played for Stabaek in Norway from 2008-11, spent the first half of 2012 on loan to Belgium's Ghent and had played for Norway's Rosenborg since August 2012. His contract expired at the end of the 2014 season.
NYCFC had been first in MLS's allocation ranking, which gave it priority to sign a U.S. national team player coming to the league after playing abroad.
NYCFC, which announced the deal Tuesday, has been criticized by fans and media over the handling of Lampard. NYCFC announced last July that it had signed the English midfielder for its inaugural season in 2015.
Lampard then started playing for Manchester City, which like NYCFC is controlled by City Football Group, and on Dec. 31 Manchester City said Lampard's contract had been extended through the end of its season. NYCFC said last weekend that Lampard had signed a contract to join it in July 2015.
The team also said Tuesday it will play preseason exhibitions at Scotland's St. Mirren on Feb. 10 and at Denmark's Brondy five days later.