Darlington Nagbe leaving the Timbers is an undeniably impactful change for the core of the team. As a retrospective on his seven seasons with the club, we asked some of our contributors what their favorite Nagbe memory is.
Zach Kay: Honestly it’s recent, but I think my favourite has to be his goal against Vancouver this season. I was sitting (standing) in 104, and I’ll probably never forget that moment or how essentially frozen I was by it. Incredible goal.
Jason Wald: Zach, I disagree, the Vancouver goal was a very good goal, but I think his volley goal against SKC was his best goal ever.
Chris Rifer: This probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind for folks, but the last regular-season game of 2015 was my favorite of the “It’s Happening!” games for Nagbe. With Diego Valeri sidelined and the Timbers needing a win over Colorado to lock up a home knockout round game, Nagbe took over. He registering a brace and an assist all the while dominating the game in the way that everybody has wanted him to, but he rarely has.
Kevin McCamish: June 26, 2013. I will never forget the US Open Cup game vs Dallas. One of the rare sightings of Angry Nagbe, and it was glorious.
John Lawes: Angry Nagbe. Because 1) he showed up so seldom, and 2) he kicked ass like a crazy monkey when he did. Seeing how good Nags was when he would get fired up always made me wish that Porter would hire somebody to pick on him on matchdays and get him pissed off so he’d play like that more often.
Charles McNeil: In the 2015 MLS Cup final, when Nagbe kept playing off the out-of-bounds pass from Powell. He remembered to play to the whistle, and Columbus didn’t, and PTFC won. Honorable mention to his free kick goal against Colorado towards the end of the season that year.
Will Conwell: There were so many times that Nagbe made me curse in the press box during his time with the Timbers. Whether it was due to an absurd moment of skill on the ball or an otherworldly golazo, Darlington was always good for something mind-blowing.
As far as an actual favorite moment goes I’d love to pick the MLS Cup Final out of bounds assist, but I was staring at my computer assuming the ball had gone out of the play at the time; I would also love to go with his 2011 Goal of the Year strike against Sporting Kansas City, but with all of Nagbe’s near-miraculous moments I would feel foolish not going with one that I was actually on hand for.
Instead, I am going to go with Nagbe’s 2013 turn and shoot goal against FC Dallas. Combining obscene balance, footwork, and finishing, the goal was peak Nagbe and was the highlight of his most exciting season with the Timbers.
Matt Hoffman: I was in Philadelphia subjected to absurdly poor broadband when Darlington Nagbe scored his first MLS goal. Listening to the radio broadcast, I couldn’t figure out exactly what Darlington had done, only that it was incredible. When I did see the eventual goal of the year, my jaw dropped.
The ball punched out of danger (or so Jimmy Nielsen thought!) and fell right to a wide open Nagbe. Nagbe didn’t rush the shot. He merely touched it once, touched it twice and sent a rocket to the far corner. The Timbers lost the match but had reason to believe they had an unbelievable talent on their roster.
What’s your favorite Nagbe memory? Let us know in the comments!