It has been rumored for a long time, and was confirmed yesterday, but today Darlington Nagbe has officially been called up to the United States Men's National 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.
Nagbe will be part of a roster that draws from both North America and Europe, and features national team regulars like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, and Jozy Altidore, as well as fellow debutant Matt Miazga of the New York Red Bulls.
How Nagbe will fit into Jurgen Klinsmann's assembled lineup remains to be seen, but it bodes well that he was called up in this window rather than waiting for the January camps that have traditionally been where new MLS players are evaluated and worked into the National team. With the USMNT playing in World Cup Qualifying, rather than simply an international friendly, Nagbe's inclusion in these weighty matches -- even with opponents like St. Vincent and the Grenadines -- should bode well for him.
The qualifying matches can be watched on ESPN2 and beIN Sports, respectively.
The full list of call-ups from USsoccer.com:
U.S. Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
And the Timbers press release:
TIMBERS MIDFIELDER DARLINGTON NAGBE NAMED TO UNITED STATES NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCHES
Nagbe earns first national team call-up; United States to face St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe has been named to the United States National Team roster for a pair of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, it was announced today. The national team call-up marks the first time Nagbe, who earned his American citizenship in September, has been named to a senior national team roster.
The United States will open play in Group C in the fourth round of CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday, Nov. 13, against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo.; kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Pacific), while the match will be carried live nationally on ESPN2. The United States then travels to face Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Group C consists of the United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala. The six-game, fourth-round schedule will last from Nov. 13, 2015, until September 2016. The top two teams from each of the three groups advance to the "Hex" – the final, decisive round of CONCACAF qualifying for the FIFA World Cup.
Nagbe, 25, was born in Monrovia, Liberia, before settling in Lakewood, Ohio, as a youth. He was honored with the MAC Hermann Trophy as the top player in college soccer in 2010 after helping lead the University of Akron to its first NCAA National Championship. The second overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Timbers, Nagbe has been a standout player for Portland over the last five seasons, tying the Timbers all-time club record in career appearances (160), while recording 23 goals and 20 assists. During the 2015 season, Nagbe registered five goals and five assists in 33 games (all starts), helping Portland reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.