The Portland Timbers first draft pick after joining MLS, Darlington Nagbe, has been called up the to the United States Mens National Team after finally getting his citizenship. It is a big step for the Timbers' midfielder and we are all understandably excited to see if he can inject some pace and possession into the recently struggling USMNT.
Nagbe's first chance at receiving a cap will come this afternoon as the US takes on St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and UniMas and will be available for streaming on WatchESPN.
How (and if) Nagbe will fit into the USMNT set up remains to be seen, but the most likely place for him to get a run out is in the center of the midfield, the position where he has had significant success with the Timbers recently. Pairing him up with a player like Michael Bradley, or even Kyle Beckerman, could give Nagbe the ability to roam the pitch, find the game, and control the tempo.
Of course, the natural fear of most Timbers fans is that Nagbe will be used in a different method by Klinsmann; putting Nagbe out on the wing where he has spent much of the last five years or, as some have jokingly suggested in the wake of Klinsmann's occasional attempts at moving players like Jermaine Jones or Fabian Johnson around the pitch, converting him to fullback or goalkeeper.
Either way, the consensus seems to be that Klinsmann would have to be crazy not to get Nagbe on the field now that he has become eligible to be called up. With the USMNT facing stagnation and regression in their recent results, even Klinsmann should not be so stubborn as to keep Nagbe off the field for this one.
Or he could play on Tuesday against Trinidad and Tobago.
United States vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Watch it on: ESPN2, UniMas, WatchESPN
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. PT at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO; Coverage starts at 3:30 p.m. PT