Last Thursday, Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson tweeted out confirmation that forward Darlington Nagbe became an American Citizen. If selected, the 25-year-old would become the Portland Timbers player to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team.
After leaving Akron, Nagbe was the selected by the Timbers with the second overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and would go on to have a memorable rookie campaign, including winning the 2011 MLS Goal of the Year (watch goal here). Nagbe has been a consistent producer for the Timbers, notching 20 goals and 18 assists in his five MLS seasons, and helping Portland make its first ever postseason appearance and eventual run to the Western Conference Championship in 2013. This year, Nagbe currently leads MLS with 53 chances created from open play and is also tied for the league lead in fouls suffered (70) with Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco. With Nagbe’s citizenship secured, the USMNT would be bringing in a dynamic player whose electric pace and vision could help break down opposing defenses for years to come.
Nagbe has the Timbers in playoff contention and will be one of the players to watch when the Timbers host Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls at Providence Park this Sunday at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes).