COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that the Club has acquired midfielder Darlington Nagbe (pronounced: NAG-be) from Atlanta United. In exchange, the Black & Gold traded $700,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an international roster spot for the 2020 MLS season, as well as $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the 2021 MLS season. Should Nagbe meet certain performance conditions, Atlanta United would receive additional Allocation Money. Nagbe, a nine-year MLS veteran and a 2016 MLS All-Star, has won two MLS Cups (2015, 2018), one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2019) and a Campeones Cup (2019). At the international level, he has earned 25 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and has won the Concacaf Gold Cup (2017).
“Darlington Nagbe is a proven winner and the type of player who can be a difference-maker in our team,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “In addition to his skill set, we believe that Darlington is someone whose character and values fit well within our organization. As we stated heading into this offseason, we continue to look both domestically and internationally for players that will make our team better, and we believe Darlington is an important part of those efforts.”
The 29-year-old spent the last two seasons with Atlanta United, where he made 56 regular-season appearances (55 starts), scoring two goals and recording four assists. While playing for Atlanta, Nagbe helped Atlanta United win its first four trophies in club history: the 2018 MLS Cup, the 2018 MLS Eastern Conference Championship, the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2019 Campeones Cup. Before joining Atlanta United, the midfielder spent seven seasons with the Portland Timbers from 2011-2017 after being drafted by the Timbers in the First Round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
At Portland, Nagbe played under current Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter, whom the midfielder had previously played for in his time at the University of Akron. Nagbe was a member of the Portland Timbers side that won the MLS Cup and the MLS Western Conference Championship in 2015. In all, he made 214 regular-season appearances (203 starts) for the Timbers, registering 27 goals and 30 assists. During his stint with Portland, Nagbe won the MLS Goal of the Year Award in 2011; he was named the Timbers’ Players’ Player of the Year in 2013; he was twice the recipient of the MLS Fair Play Award (2013, 2105); and he was named to the MLS All-Star Roster in 2016.
Nagbe has earned 25 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, tallying one goal and two assists since making his debut in a World Cup Qualifier against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2015 (November 13). He scored his first goal for the Stars and Stripes in a 2016 friendly against Ecuador (May 25), netting the game-winner in the 90th minute of the contest. Later that year, the midfielder helped the U.S. squad finish fourth at the 2016 Copa America Centenario. Nagbe also helped the Americans win the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup, making three appearances (all starts) en route to being named to the tournament’s Best XI.
At the collegiate level, Nagbe played for the University of Akron Zips from 2008-2010, scoring 19 goals and providing 19 assists in 73 appearances. During his time in Akron, Nagbe helped the team win one NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament (2010) – the first in Akron’s history – as well as three consecutive Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament titles (2008, 2009, 2010). The midfielder’s three seasons with the Zips also saw him amass multiple individual awards including the Hermann Trophy (2010), the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Player of the Year (2010), the MAC Player of the Year (2010), the MAC Newcomer of the Year (2008), NSCAA All-America First Team (2010) and NSCAA All-America Second Team (2009) honors, as well as three All-MAC First-Team selections (2008, 2009, 2010).
With the addition of Nagbe, Crew SC's current 2020 roster – listed alphabetically below – now stands at 20 players:
Goalkeepers (2): Jon Kempin, Eloy Room
Defenders (9): Lalas Abubakar, Harrison Afful, Chris Cadden, Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Aboubacar Keita, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Josh Williams
Midfielders (7): Luis Argudo, Artur, Luis Diaz, Youness Mokhtar, Darlington Nagbe, Pedro Santos, Wil Trapp
Forwards (2): JJ Williams, Gyasi Zardes
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC acquires midfielder Darlington Nagbe from Atlanta United in exchange for $700,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, $150,000 in General Allocation Money and an international roster spot for the 2020 MLS season, as well as $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the 2021 MLS season on November 13, 2019. Should Nagbe meet certain performance conditions, Atlanta United would receive additional Allocation Money.
Name: Darlington Nagbe (NAG-be)
Born: July 19, 1990 in Monrovia, Liberia
Hometown: Lakewood, Ohio
Citizenship: Liberia and United States
Acquired: Acquired by Crew SC from Atlanta United in exchange for $700,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, $150,000 in General Allocation Money and an international roster spot for the 2020 MLS season, as well as $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the 2021 MLS season on November 13, 2019. Should Nagbe meet certain performance conditions, Atlanta United would receive additional Allocation Money.
Previous Experience: Portland Timbers (2011-2017), Atlanta United (2018-2019)