PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe has been named to the United States National Team roster for a pair of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, it was announced today. The national team call-up marks the first time Nagbe, who earned his American citizenship in September, has been named to a senior national team roster.
The United States will open play in Group C in the fourth round of CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday, Nov. 13, against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo.; kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Pacific), while the match will be carried live nationally on ESPN2. The United States then travels to face Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Group C consists of the United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala. The six-game, fourth-round schedule will last from Nov. 13, 2015, until September 2016. The top two teams from each of the three groups advance to the “Hex” – the final, decisive round of CONCACAF qualifying for the FIFA World Cup.
Nagbe, 25, was born in Monrovia, Liberia, before settling in Lakewood, Ohio, as a youth. He was honored with the MAC Hermann Trophy as the top player in college soccer in 2010 after helping lead the University of Akron to its first NCAA National Championship. The second overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Timbers, Nagbe has been a standout player for Portland over the last five seasons, tying the Timbers all-time club record in career appearances (160), while recording 23 goals and 20 assists. During the 2015 season, Nagbe registered five goals and five assists in 33 games (all starts), helping Portland reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.