Written by Will Parchman

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Darlington Nagbe will not be going to Celtic. At least not yet, and perhaps not ever.

Whoever did the rejecting is perhaps up to your specific Atlantic bias. Celtic, which had invited the enigmatic Timbers attacker to watch a Champions League match against Barcelona earlier this year, claims it’s the one doing the walking away. The Timbers side of the equation alleges quite differently.

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Written by Will Parchman

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The moment certain things happen, and those certain things are bad things, you feel them. A leg break, a poorly taken test, a car wreck. It’s like the weight of them rushes on you all at once and there isn’t time to line the moment with silver. It’s bad. There are no shades of anything else.

That’s mostly how it felt when Darlington Nagbe said no to a Jurgen Klinsmann call-up for a pair of national team friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand earlier this month. According to the initial Taylor Twellman report on Twitter, Nagbe walked away from the table over “family reasons.” Grant Wahl reported today it goes a bit deeper than that.

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Written by Will Parchman

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The Portland Timbers are currently doing their best to stay afloat in a treacherous CONCACAF Champions League group that’s popping holes in their raft one after the other.

They kept themselves alive by dropping El Salvador’s CD Dragon 2-1 on the road on Tuesday night to set up a critical rubber match in the Group B finale. On Oct. 19, the Timbers host Costa Rican juggernaut Saprissa with the knockout stage at stake. A win and Portland is through. Anything else and it’s curtains. Notable: Saprissa waxed Portland 4-2 in the first meeting.

At least outwardly, the story of Tuesday night revolved around Darlington Nagbe. The Akron product is currently struggling through the worst statistical season of his career, with just a single goal and five assists from more than 2,000 minutes. The eye test beyond the numbers hasn’t been particularly kind either. Nagbe’s production dipped in lockstep with his influence. To put it simply, at times it’s been easy to forget he’s even on the field.

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Written by Travis Clark

In the dying minutes of Wednesday night’s friendly against Ecuador, the U.S. men’s national team nudged their way forward. A win wouldn’t erase the memories of a dull first half, even if the script flipped at the break thanks in part to a couple of substitutions.

By the time the dust settled on a 1-0 win that will be quickly forgotten by most — save Darlington Nagbe, who scored his first goal in a U.S. jersey — one thing was clear: the 25-year-old midfielder needs to start at the Copa America.

Nagbe is a player whose raw talent and ability were easy to spot dating back to his days at Akron. They’ve remained, grown, flourished and at times appeared to stagnate since he was drafted by the Portland Timbers in 2011.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Earlier this week, American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta said something about Jurgen Klinsmann. I want you to read it.

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Written by Will Parchman

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There was a moment early in the second half of Sunday’s Timbers-Sounders match when Darlington Nagbe faced up fellow Akron product DeAndre Yedlin on the fringe of the Sounders’ box. The matchup had been a continuing font of frustration for Nagbe over the course of the afternoon. Yedlin had harassed Nagbe up and down the field, even tracking back on his probing runs in time to reject Nagbe’s one-on-one attempts. Most of them were futile.

This particular matchup about 10 minutes into the half was Yedlin’s biggest triumph. Nagbe went to his most familiar ally, the right-footed chop to his left that he pairs with a vicious hip shimmy. As soon as Nagbe cut down on the ball, you see immediately that it lacked its typical venom – it’s almost lethargic – and Yedlin, hardly the best heads-up defender in the league, is on top of the move instantly. Yedlin stretches out his right and megs Nagbe on his own fake, punching the ball out of the box and away from danger. Nagbe, beaten completely, wraps both arms around Yedlin and drags him to the ground to draw a deserved foul. It’s over in four seconds.

This is hardly the Nagbe we’re used to seeing, but it’s the Nagbe that’s been on display for long stretches of 2014 with only occasional interruptions. At this time last year, Nagbe had seven goals and three assists. After being subbed off of Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Seattle at home, Nagbe is sitting on just four assists.

What’s happened to Darlington Nagbe?

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Written by The 91st

Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe got married a couple weeks ago and I completely understand why. Who wouldn’t marry a woman that surprises you with a cake designed like an Xbox at the wedding? No one I’d want to know.

Best part of the specialty cake was the edible copy of FIFA 13 sitting atop the console. That’s just money. Looks like you’ve found yourself a keeper, sir … I’d hold onto the wife, too.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Say what you want about Caleb Porter and his recent failure with the U.S. U23s. But at Akron, the man knows how to produce a pro, and Darlington Nagbe (who won last year’s MLS Goal of the Year), one of his shining stars from two years ago scored two tremendous goals over the weekend for the Portland Timbers.

The first was a tricky finish made easy by the second-year pro. But peep the second goal, a volley from just inside the box that leaves Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando with no chance.

Of course, instead of winning the game 2-1, Portland collapsed at home, conceding two late goals to lose it 3-2.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

We need more coaches announcing the play-by-play of their own matches. How else would we get moments like the above one with Portland coach John Spencer?

“YES! That’s what he provides, that one there!”

Shout out to Pete Weber on that one.

The Portland broadcast team was in the middle of asking Spencer about what Darlington Nagbe (former Akron standout) brought to the field, having entered as a halftime substitute. Almost prophetically, right as Spencer goes live on air, Nagbe pounces on a bad touch by FC Dallas midfielder Daniel Hernandez and ties the game.

And that’s when Spencer gives us announcing magic.

If I didn’t know any better I’d think Spencer has been moonlighting as the announcer after the jump all along.

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Written by Administrator

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MLS has announced that the goal (above) scored by former Akron Zips, and current Portland Timbers winger Darlington Nagbe has been awarded the 2011 Goal of the Year. Nagbe came into MLS with a reputation as a creator rather than a goal-scorer. But the lasting image from the Liberian’s rookie campaign turned out to be a juggling wonder-strike for the ages. Nagbe scored the golazo in the 45th minute of what was eventually a 2-1 home loss to Sporting KC in Week 16.

Yesterday, the U.S. U-23 National Team had a friendly against Bayer Leverkusen’s reserve team. Terrence Boyd scored a wonder-goal of his own during the scrimmage following a great individual effort. It’s obvious that both goals took extreme skill to juggle, and then striking the ball into the goal, but is Terrence Boyd’s juggling act better than the “Goal of the Year? Take a look below:


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