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Official: Portland Timbers Trade Darlington Nagbe to Atlanta United; The End of an Era

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The Portland Timbers have been a Major League Soccer side since 2011 and for the entirety of their time in the league, Darlington Nagbe has been a fixture on the team. From his 2011 Goal of the Year to his most recent call ups to the USMNT after a lifetime of waiting, Nagbe has been a Timber.

Now, however, the Nagbe era has ended in Portland as the Timbers announced today that the 27 year old midfielder had been traded to recent expansion side Atlanta United in exchange for a record setting package of allocation money and other accommodations.

Those accommodations include an international slot for the 2018 season as well as taking on the salary of oft-injured defender Gbenga Arokoyo, preventing the Timbers from needing to use their annual amnesty clause on him. The allocation money sent to Portland will total $1.05 million over the next two years with performance incentives that could increase that by another $600,000.

Nagbe ends his time with the Timbers as the side’s most capped player, having played 214 matches for the Timbers over the last seven seasons. Moverever, Nagbe ends his time in Portland as the Timbers’ all-eras ninth leading goalscorer and fifth leading provider of assists.

Nagbe’s trade to Atlanta comes as the Timbers rebuild in the wake of the offseason departure of head coach Caleb Porter who also coached Nagbe during his time in college with the Akron Zips.

The Timbers’ press release:

TIMBERS ACQUIRE UP TO $1.65 MILLION IN ALLOCATION MONEY, 2018 INTERNATIONAL SPOT FROM ATLANTA UNITED FC IN EXCHANGE FOR MIDFIELDER DARLINGTON NAGBE, DEFENDER GBENGA AROKOYO

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired $650,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2018, $100,000 GAM in 2019, $300,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2018 and an international spot through Dec. 31, 2018, from Atlanta United FC in exchange for midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defender Gbenga Arokoyo. Additionally, the Timbers will receive up to $600,000 in future TAM based on Nagbe’s performance with Atlanta United.

“As the club’s first-ever MLS draft pick, Darlington has grown with this team from its beginnings in the league and has been a great player and representative in his seven years with the Timbers,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “On behalf of the entire organization, I want to sincerely thank Darlington for everything he has given this club and for helping Portland win its first MLS Cup in 2015. He will always be a part of the Timbers family, and we wish Darlington, his wife, Felicia, and their two children all the best.”

Selected by the Timbers as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Nagbe, the Timbers’ leader in games played (214) across all eras in club history (since 1975), recorded 27 goals and 30 assists in his seven seasons with the club. Playing in his 200th league appearance against Seattle Sounders FC on June 25, Nagbe, 27, became the second-youngest player in league history to play 200 games with a single club in MLS during the 2017 campaign.

"Thank you, Portland, and everyone that supported my family and me the past seven years,” Nagbe said.

Nagbe’s 27 goals also rank as the third-most in the club’s MLS era, while his 30 assists rank as the second-most since Portland joined MLS in 2011. Additionally, Nagbe made 12 postseason appearances with the Timbers, helping the club capture its first MLS Cup trophy in 2015, starting and playing 90 minutes in each of the Timbers’ six playoff matches during the team’s championship-winning campaign.

Signed by the Timbers on Aug. 2, 2016, Arokoyo, 25, made one regular-season appearance with Portland before suffering a season-ending injury during preseason ahead of the 2017 MLS campaign. Prior to signing with Portland, Arokoyo played over 90 matches in Europe, featuring in Sweden and Turkey after beginning his professional career in Nigeria.

Transaction: The Portland Timbers acquire $650,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2018, $100,000 GAM in 2019, $300,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2018 and an international spot through Dec. 31, 2018, from Atlanta United FC in exchange for midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defender Gbenga Arokoyo. Portland will receive up to $600,000 in future TAM based on Nagbe’s performance with Atlanta United.