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MAILBAG: Mauro Diaz, Jesse Gonzalez's US Men's National Team Dilemma and Club Milestones

FRISCO - Before we turn the page and look ahead to this weekend’s match against Portland, let’s take a few minutes to answer a few of the questions that popped up in this week’s Mailbag:

“Do you think Diaz is getting closer to starting, or are getting small minutes to be expected for a couple more games?” - Chase Tripp

I don’t know that it’s imminent we see Mauro back starting, especially considering the start on Saturday night, but a 5-0 lead allowed a full half hour for the Magician which is another big step. I think before the July 1st meeting against Toronto, we’ll see Diaz back in a Starting XI, but he’s definitely getting closer and closer. I think next week he could be considered available for selection, but from that point on, it’s up to Oscar what he wants to do with No. 10 and his starting lineup. 

"Was it more surprising Walker Zimmerman was left off the preliminary US Gold Cup roster or that Jessie Gonzalez was put on the roster?” - John M.

In terms of surprising, there’s only one to consider here - Jesse’s inclusion on the USMNT preliminary roster. 

With Walker’s initial timeline of 4-6 weeks recovery time from his strained MCL, that would target an at-best return date just days before the 2017 Gold Cup on July 7. If it is closer to the six weeks window, you’re looking at the middle of the group stage. Not to mention that National Teams can call in players up to two weeks ahead of the tournament start date, which would mean Walker missing likely the entire camp. Despite his strong showings in MLS and in previous USMNT call-ups, it’s tough to include a player who would, best case scenario, be back just before the tournament having not played in over a month.

Jesse, on the other hand, is apparently re-opening his recruitment to put it in terms of college recruiting. We’re just one iPhone notes screen shot away from a full-on bidding war. He committed to the Mexican Federation in 2015 and has been called in to the U-20 and U-23 rosters since, but hasn’t been included in almost a year for junior teams, not to mention a sniff at the senior roster. Meanwhile, Bruce Arena and the U.S. National Team have kept a keen eye on the Homegrown and are possibly ready to give him something his current National Team is not: a Senior Cap. It’s a complex situation, but he’ll be forcing the hand of one federation very soon. 

“Congrats to FCD and the players last night for there win and the club's 1000th goal. Speaking of the milestones, this may just be me missing something but how is it that there are more assists than goals in the club history? Should there be more goals than assists? I might just be missing something.” - Nico

Nico, good question and one that actually came up in the office a few weeks ago. On goals under MLS rules, there can be no assists, one assist or two assists. No other league values the second assist like we do in America. Therefore, if the number of double-assisted goals outweighs the number of non-assisted goals, you can hit the 1,000 assist mark before you hit the 1,000 goal mark.