Darlington Nagbe will finally pull on a United States shirt next week. The highly touted midfielder, who received his American citizenship in September, will be part of Jurgen Klinsmann's side for the U.S.' November 13 and 17 World Cup qualifiers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. MLS Soccer first leaked the new and Ives Galarcep confirmed it.
Nagbe was born in Liberia, but moved around for much of his childhood because his father was a professional soccer player. When he was 11 years old, his family settled in Ohio, where he stayed through high school. Then he went to thw University of Akron before being drafted by the Portland Timbers.
Long considered one of the best young players in the country, many have wished he could play for the U.S. for years. Unfortunately, he was not a citizen, but that changed in September. The only thing stopping him from being called up in the last two months has been paperwork and FIFA approval, but now that appears to have been sorted out so he will get to play for the U.S.
It will be interesting to see how Nagbe fits into the U.S. side. While he's shown plenty of promise since joining the Timbers, his play has been very inconsistent and he's never blossomed into the deadly playmaker that so many thought he would. The skills are undoubtedly there, but the production hasn't always been.
The good news is that Nagbe is in arguably the form of his life right now. He's playing excellently for the Timbers and has them in position to potentially make a deep playoff run. It's unclear where Klinsmann will use Nagbe, seeing as he's played across the Portland front line throughout his career, or how he'll integrate the new guy into the squad, but he's got a call-up. That's step one.