Mix Diskerud is the latest hero for Rosenborg, pushing the club into the Europa League group stage. With games against fellow American Terrence Boyd's Rapid Vienna, Germany's Bayer Leverkusen, and Ukraine's FC Metalist looming, let's learn a little more about Norway's biggest club.
Why Are We Here?
After making 81 appearances for Stabaek, Mix Diskerud went on loan to Belgium's Gent in 2012. He returned to Norway as a member of Rosenborg, a high profile move for any player who has spent time in that country. Diskerud represents the United States now, but he was born and brought up in the soccer culture of Norway. Playing for Rosenborg is a very big deal. Scoring goals that advance them in Europe makes that even better.
And Where Are We?
Trondheim, Norway's third biggest city with just over 175,000 residents. The main part of the city juts out into the aptly named Trondheimsfjord and though not an island the Nidelva River all but separates it from the mainland. 'Picturesque' barely does it justice. The city is famous for the Nidaros Cathedral that took a couple centuries to build, opening around the year 1300. Trondheim is also the home of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the second biggest college in Norway.
And The Club?
For those outside of Norway, Rosenborg is the most recognizable club. That's because of their 22 titles, with no other team hitting double digits in that category. Starting in 1992, Rosenborg won 13 consecutive Tippeligaen titles. They finished third last season after winning the two previous championships. This is a club built to dominate at home and compete in Europe. The Troll Kids (seriously) made the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 1997.
How Tough Is The Tippeligaen?
Not so much for Rosenborg in their era of dominance. It's a 16-club league that plays a March - November schedule in the same calendar year, so they're not in sync with most of Europe. Blame the weather, but Russia shifted their schedule after deciding it would make them more competitive in Europe. Norway is 27th in the UEFA coefficient rankings, meaning only the winner of the Tippeligaen advances to the Champions League.
Though it opened in 1947, Lerkendal Stadium is now a modern all-seater soccer venue that looks nothing like its original configuration. Rosenborg have played there since 1957, taking it over in the early 2000's, and it has undergone multiple revamps that are ongoing. No part of the current stadium is older than 1996, and it has a listed capacity of 21,116.