Darlington Nagbe, come on down, you’re the next contestant on “Can You Save The U.S. National Team?”
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Fine or not, Jurgen Klinsmann is reportedly set to give the Yanks an incredibly compelling boost in the form of the Portland Timbers midfielder ahead of the USMNT’s very first 2018 World Cup qualifier against St. Vincent & The Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis.
Nagbe became a U.S. citizen nearly two months ago, making him eligible for the USMNT once all paperwork had been filed with and approved by FIFA, which, according to reports on Thursday, is no longer a hurdle.
Nagbe has recently undergone a fairly drastic change in position, from winger to central midfielder, which has brought upon a serious uptick in form from the 25-year-old Monrovia, Liberia, native. Given Klinsmann’s penchant for regularly playing players out of their “natural” positions, who knows where Nagbe could end up, if anywhere, for the USMNT later this month.
Should he play anywhere in midfield — he’s not the answer at left back, Jurgen, I promise — Nagbe could provide the kind of creativity, technical ability and game-changing ability the USMNT has sorely lacked the last 18 months. The USMNT’s second World Cup qualifier will be played four days later away to Trinidad and Tobago.