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'Every person has the right to choose' - Diskerud backs Morgan's call to avoid Trump's White House

13:00 BST 20/06/2019
Alex Morgan USWNT 2019
The 2014 World Cup veteran says that players have every right to express their political opinions in whatever way they see fit

Mix Diskerud says that he believes that American soccer players have every right to express their political opinions, adding that he will not criticize or critique any U.S. women's national team player that opts for or against taking the traditional trip to the White House should they win the Women's World Cup.

USWNT forward Alex Morgan said prior to the World Cup in France that she would not accept an invitation from President Donald Trump to visit the White House if the U.S. proved victorious, as per tradition with championship sports teams in America.

Morgan told Time  that she does not "stand for a lot of things the current office stands for" while saying that she has no plans to "stick to sports". 

And 2014 World Cup veteran Diskerud, currently featuring for Korean side Ulsan Hyundai on loan from Manchester City, says he respects any athlete that's willing to stand behind their own political views.

“I think every person has the right to choose their political stance and stand by it," Diskerud told Goal . "Either way or in any way. More of it!

"However, if it truly is a team that is giving you your status and lets you have a platform to speak at all, you need to be very, very careful of what you say, express, and when you say it. In society, we all have roles apart from being individuals.

"So even if I am a firm believer in individuality, I would personally always respond positively to the honor of receiving an invitation from any U.S. President. That is as long as she or he acts as the Commander in Chief or as the unifying leader of our nation, and not behaves as a private individual when holding office.”

He added: “Alex Morgan is a fine person. She can forge and unify most of people, I think. She has proved that. I'd say she has enough grit to make the right decision no matter who tries to corrupt or persuade her.

"Therefore, her final decision, when she eventually has to make it, will not be criticized or critiqued by me.”

The USWNT have been at the center of a legal battle with U.S. Soccer over equal pay, with past and present members of the team speaking out on the disparity between money earned by the USMNT and themselves.

And Diskerud, who has earned 38 caps for the USMNT, says he believes the issue is a complicated one.

"In general I believe in both free market evaluation mechanisms and in non-discrimination," he said. "Sometimes that translates into equal pay, sometimes not. I think there are several components that in aggregate really should determine how US Soccer should reimburse or pay their national team players."

“And the difference in definition between payment and reimbursements are key to most discussions concerning National Team politics on remuneration worldwide, for both women and men. In the US there clearly has been times where I have thought the women have been 'underpaid' in relation to their actual contribution in building a market value for US Soccer, but in some other countries - not.

"When it comes to club level, I think it is most fair to let the market itself decide. But again, that opinion is based on the free-market principle between players and free-standing, independent clubs. We don't have that balance in the US. There, we have something even less optimal."

After thrashing Thailand 13-0 in their opener, and earning criticism for their celebrations , the USWNT cruised past Chile 3-0 in their second match to remain atop of Group F ahead of their final first round match against Sweden on Thursday.

Diskerud has liked what he's seen so far from the U.S. team, saying that they have a good chance of going all the way this summer.

“They don't have a key player, and that is a great thing," he said.

“I give them a 70 per cent chance of making the final. And once there I give them an 85% chance of winning the cup. You see, the way the groups are set up - the US team's quarter-final could be the tricky one. Thailand will be the only team that's a walk-in-the-park.”