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Darlington Nagbe, Jermaine Taylor Called up for Copa America

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the notoriously fickle nature of Jurgen Klinsmann, it should come as a surprise to nobody that Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe was called up to the United States Men's National Team yesterday to be a part of the team's Copa America side.

This year's edition of the Copa America will feature teams from North and South America and will run from June 3rd to June 26th, although the US have already started their pre-tournament camp and friendlies. Assuming he reports to camp tomorrow, the call up confirms Nagbe's absence for at least two Timbers matches following tonight's Cascadia Cup match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, or as many as five should the US go on a deep run.

While the call up is certainly a good thing for Nagbe and will continue to give him chances to prove his quality at the national level, it presents a difficulty for the Timbers, who have already struggled with absences so far this season. The loss of Nagbe for this extended period will require the Timbers to either lean on veteran Ned Grabavoy to fill out the midfield or really shuffle things up and change the team's formation and positional responsibilities from top to bottom.

Compounding the Timbers' issues is the call up of defender Jermaine Taylor to the Jamaican Men's National Team. Taylor has gotten significant minutes at center back and left back this season and has been an important part of the Timbers' depth along the back line as the team has worked toward getting fit early in the season. The loss of Taylor will likely call Chris Klute back into the starting XI at left back and will leave the Timbers perilously thin at center back with Zarek Valentin currently filling in at right back for the injured Alvas Powell.

The Timbers' press releases:


– Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe has been named to the United States Men’s National Team roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario, it was announced today.

Set to be held in 10 different cities throughout the United States, the 2016 Copa America Centenario will feature 32 matches from June 3-26, marking the first time the oldest international continental soccer competition in the world will be held outside of South America. Grouped with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay, the United States will open the tournament on Friday, June 3, first taking on Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., beginning at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Following the opening contest against Colombia, the United States will face Costa Rica on June 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., beginning at 5 p.m. (Pacific), before concluding the group stage with a fixture against Paraguay on June 11 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., at 4 p.m. (Pacific). All three matches will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, Unimas and UDN.

Prior to kicking off the 2016 Copa America, the United States will play three preparation matches, taking on Puerto Rico in
Bayamón on Sunday, May 22, at 9 a.m. (Pacific), Ecuador on May 25 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and Bolivia on May 28 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Nagbe, 25, made his debut for the United States during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying on Nov. 13, 2015, playing 26 minutes as a substitute in a 6-1 win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Since then, Nagbe has made four additional appearances on the international stage for the United States, featuring against Trinidad and Tobago (Nov. 17), Iceland (Jan. 31), Canada (Feb. 5), and Guatemala (March 25).  

In 2016, Nagbe has played 10 games, recording 10 starts, for the Timbers, notching three assists in three of the last five games for Portland. Since joining Portland in 2011, Nagbe has made 170 appearances (159 starts), ranking him first in games played for the team across all eras (since 1975).


– Portland Timbers defender Jermaine Taylor has been named to the Jamaica Men’s National Team roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario, it was announced today.

Taylor and Jamaica will open the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the oldest international continental soccer competition in the world, on Sunday, June 5, taking on Venezuela at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., at 2 p.m. (Pacific). Following the match against Venezuela, Jamaica will then face Mexico on June 9 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., at 7 p.m. (Pacific), before concluding the group stage against Uruguay on June 13 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., at  7 p.m. (Pacific).

Heading into the 2016 Copa America, Taylor will join Jamaica for a preparation match against Chile onFriday, May 27, at Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile, with kickoff set for 4 p.m. (Pacific).

Taylor, 31, made his international debut for Jamaica in 2004 after ascending through the youth national team ranks. A presence in the back line for the Reggae Boyz, Taylor has earned 84 caps for Jamaica, including three appearances during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage. Additionally, Taylor has been part of three Caribbean Cup-winning teams for Jamaica (2005, 2010 and 2014) and appeared in nine matches during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

In 2016, Taylor has made 10 appearances (10 starts) for the Timbers, playing 90 minutes in each of those games. Since joining MLS in 2011, Taylor has made 116 appearances, starting 111 times.