One of the more highly regarded talents in MLS is now able to suit up for the U.S. men's national team.
Portland Timbers star midfielder Darlington Nagbe has become a U.S. citizen, meaning he is available for U.S. selection, should Jurgen Klinsmann wish to call upon him.
Timbers owner Merritt Paulson announced the development Thursday night. Nagbe was born in Liberia (his father, Joe, is a former captain of the Liberia national team) but eventually moved to Ohio when he was 11 before attending the University of Akron, where he starred and won the 2010 Hermann Trophy as the nation's best player. The Timbers made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, and he's been a key part of the club ever since.
He has 20 goals and 18 assists in his career, which is in its fifth season. While his statistical production has perhaps not met expectations, he has a penchant for the remarkable and is widely revered in MLS circles for his overall quality and skill on the ball.
“I think he’s excited about it, he’s excited about the opportunity," Portland manager Caleb Porter told MLSSoccer.com. "But there’s no guarantee that even with his citizenship that Jurgen wants to call him in. We hope that happens. I think he’s good enough to get that opportunity."
The first goal of his career was a brilliant self volley vs. Sporting Kansas City that won the 2011 MLS Goal of the Year: