Darlington Nagbe will be a United States citizen in September. The Portland Timbers man is set to take his U.S. citizenship test on September 10 and, as soon as he passes, he will be eligible to play for the American national team.
Nagbe was born in Liberia, but left the country before his first birthday because of civil war in the country. He lived in several European countries before moving to Oho when he was 11 years old. There, he went to middle school and high school, then the University of Akron before being drafted by the Timbers in 2011. He married an American citizen in 2012, cutting the wait time for citizenship to three years, and is now finally eligible to become a citizen.
Despite Nagbe's imminent citizenship and national team eligibility, he hasn't heard from Jurgen Klinsmann or U.S. Soccer yet.
"I haven’t spoken to anybody there," Nagbe told MLS Soccer. "I don’t know anyone over there, but hopefully. We’ll see."
Nagbe is a frustrating player. His skill is undeniable and there are moments when he looks lie the star everyone expected him to be, but his nine goals in 2013 remain a career high. He's scored just three total in the last two seasons and he doesn't rack up assists either. He often struggles with deciding when to play the ambitious ball and has been criticized for being too cautious. But he can do some brilliant things and the 25-year-old will almost certainly get a chance with the national team to show that he can make an impact at the international level.
It's unlikely that Nagbe is called up the first time he is eligible in October. It would be a shock if Klinsmann gave him his first cap for the Confederations Cup final, but the World Cup qualifiers in November could be a chance. If not, January camp is a near given.
Finally, at least he can be chosen. It's been years of talk about when he will be a citizen and how he'll impact the team. Now he's going to have his passport and we'll get to find out.