Portland Thrilled Nagbe is on their Side
After a rough inaugural season, this youngster could turn out to be the Timbers‘ Cristiano Ronaldo from his Manchester United days.
He might just be the most technically-skilled player on the team, and it’s worth noting that one of his two tallies in 2011 was an MLS Goal of the Year.
Seen by even the most casual American soccer fan, that goal has gotten over two million hits on YouTube and won ESPN Sports Center’s Best of the Best Award.
Born in Liberia, Nagbe traveled a lot as a kid, living in France, Greece, and Switzerland all before his 12th birthday.
After finally landing in the States, Nagbe first garnered attention as a high school standout.
Tired of globetrotting, he decided to stay put in Ohio, choosing to ply his trade at the University of Akron, Ohio.
Following a stellar career, where he won the Herman Trophy as the nation’s best collegiate player, Nagbe turned pro after his junior year and was taken second in the draft by the expansion Portland Timbers.
During his time in Akron, he had 19 goals and 19 assists in 73 matches. His tenure was capped when he led the Zips to their first ever National Championship, with a 1-0 win over the Louisville Cardinals.
Also in his time with UOA, like many other budding collegiate players, he split time with the Cleveland Internationals of the USL Premier Development League, where he appeared only 18 times in four seasons, but he was able to put home seven goals.
You’re not in Ohio Anymore
In the 2011 MLS Superdraft, the Portland Timbers used their second overall selection on the young attacker. He would make his debut a couple of short months later after recovering from an injury on April 2nd, 2011.
Nagbe’s first goal did not occur until July 2nd of that same year, but boy was it worth the wait, as the young striker collected the ball at the box, juggled it twice with two touches on his right foot, before swiveling and tearing a volley into the top corner.
Basically, a hell of a way to score your first MLS goal.
The birth of an MLS career
During his time with Portland, he has appeared in 39 games, and scored five times.
Solidifying his place in the Timbers’ starting lineup, and is one of the most exciting and entertaining young attacking players in the league today.
It’s only a matter of time before he truly breaks out, and Portland fans should be thrilled it’s not going to be against them.