Mix Diskerud to Abby Wambach: ‘Think about who you try to disenfranchise’

United States men’s national team midfielder Mix Diskerud believes Abby Wambach should “think about who you try to disenfranchise” after she criticized the use of naturalized citizens in the U.S. men’s national team on Wednesday.

Wambach offered her critique as part of wider criticism of U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann in an interview with the “Bill Simmons Podcast” prior to her final professional appearance in the 1-0 defeat to China on Wednesday. The all-time leading scorer in international soccer said she would “definitely fire Jürgen” and cited his development policies and his use of dual-passport holders as part of her reasoning.

“He hasn’t really focused enough attention on the youth programs,” Wambach said. “Although he says he has, I don’t think he has. I also believe the way he has changed and brought in a bunch of these foreign guys is just not something I believe in. Wholeheartedly, I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe it in my heart.”

Wambach received withering criticism for her comments, particularly in light of U.S. Soccer’s frequent use of dual-passport holders for both the men’s and women’s national teams. Several current men’s players — including Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones, who both received praise from Wambach during the interview — fall into that category, while U.S. forward Sydney Leroux is also a dual-passport holder after being born in Canada.

Norwegian-born midfielder Diskerud — an American citizen with an American mother and a Norwegian father — processed the remarks and offered an eloquent response on his Instagram account.

Wow Abby, I guess there are pros and cons in limiting the base for selection. You have just singled out a few of us. But why? Why are we your single oddballs? Think about who you try to disenfranchise. Because if you see us as the group to disenfranchise, then at least let it be known who we are. Stats and history will show – "our group" has more than others produced volunteer and defending soldiers for what, by us, is willingly chosen and gathered to be worth protecting: Your nation. Wish you would accept it as ours too. I know we're not quite equal. From "your group of people" the country's Commander in Chief need to be selected. However, other than that – you and I share something not unique, but constitutionally earned, a birthright to defend this nation as an American. Wherever we go. Led by whoever has earned, by democratic process, his/her right to lead, on or off the field, in peace, in war, in practice, or in any other kind of pursuit of your happiness. Enjoy your retirement. But stay active. We all need you. Oddballs or not. Mix

A photo posted by Mix Diskerud (@mixdiskerud) on

“Wow Abby, I guess there are pros and cons in limiting the base for selection,” Diskerud wrote. “You have just singled out a few of us. But why? Why are we your single oddballs? Think about who you try to disenfranchise. Because if you see us as the group to disenfranchise, then at least let it be known who we are.”

Diskerud noted the difference between native-born Americans and other citizens in his post — he even cited the fact that people born outside the United States cannot serve as President — and underscored the contributions made by people who chose to take American citizenship.

“Stats and history will show — ‘our group’ has more than others produced volunteer and defending soldiers for what, by us, is willingly chosen and gathered to be worth protecting: Your nation,” Diskerud said. “Wish you would accept it as ours too. I know we’re not quite equal. From ‘your group of people’ the country’s Commander in Chief need to be selected. However, other than that — you and I share something not unique, but constitutionally earned, a birthright to defend this nation as an American.”

As a conclusion to his note, Diskerud wished Wambach well in her retirement and asked her to remain active during her retirement.

New York City FC midfielder Diskerud, 25, earned a place on the World Cup roster last year, but he did not feature during the tournament in Brazil.