According to a now deleted leaked story on MLSsoccer.com and confirmed by Ives Galarcep of SBISoccer.com and Goal.com, Darlington Nagbe will get his first call up to the United States Men's National Team sooner rather than later, joining the team for next week's World Cup Qualifying matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the 13th, and Trinidad and Tobago on the 17th.
The MLS Playoffs will be taking a week off for the international dates, so if the Portland Timbers progress to the Western Conference Finals, Nagbe should not miss any games.
The prospect of Nagbe being called up in the middle of the playoffs, the most intense time of year for MLS players as they finish out a long season, is a somewhat worrying one as the Timbers will want to avoid wear and tear on one of the players that has been instrumental in their playoff qualification and progression so far.
Still, the buzz around Nagbe's seemingly inevitable call up to the USMNT has been growing since the Timbers' midfielder got his American citizenship back in September. And with a string of excellent performances for the Timbers in the run up to the playoffs, now seems like as good a time as any to get him into the side for the US.
Of course, just how Nagbe will fit in for the US remains to be seen. With a long litany of roles and positions under his belt, Nagbe's ability to play all over the pitch makes him surprisingly easy to misuse, particularly if the system being deployed does not fit him. With the US's recent penchant for abandoning midfield play under pressure, Nagbe's possession and dribbling could be lost on the USMNT. If they are going to make use of him, the team will need to seem out Nagbe and let him draw pressure, draw fouls, and create space for his teammates.
Let's tip a hat to WhatFreshHell, who got this up over in the FanPosts earlier this morning.