Darlington Nagbe would probably have been a victim of the first Liberian Civil War which claimed the lives of about 250,000 people if his mother Somah had not made the brave decision to flee the country while he was just 5 months old. She found temporary refuge in the neighboring West African country of Sierra Leone.
Somah finally found a way out of Sierra Leone with her two young children to join her husband Joe Nagbe who at the time was a professional football player plying his trade in the French League.
Darlington Nagbe’s Bio
The Nagbe family settled in Cleveland in 2001 towards the tail end of Joe Nagbe’s career when Darlington was about 11 years old. He was enrolled at Lakewood High School and later St. Edward High School. While in High School it was obvious the young Nagbe was destined for a career in football like his dad.
At the St. Edward High School football team, Darlington scored 18 goals and 10 assists. He also was a part of the Region II ODP team and an integral part of the Ohio North ODP team that won four Ohio North state club titles with the Cleveland Internationals. While honing his skills at these more or less amateur cadres, at the age of 15, Darlington was spotted by Caleb Porter, who was at that time the head coach at the University of Akron.
Darlington was offered a scholarship to the University of Akron on the recommendation of Porter. He won the All-MAC Newcomer of the Year in 2008. In his second year, he was named in the NSCAA All-America Second Team, the Soccer America MVP Second Team and the All-Mid-American Conference First Team. He spent three fruitful seasons there, winning the National Championship in 2010. On an individual level, Darlington Nagbe won the Hermann Trophy in 2010 as College Soccer Player of the Year. He scored 19 goals and 19 assists in 73 games over three collegiate seasons at Akron.
The budding star joined the Portland Timbers in 2011 and made his debut in a 1–1 draw with New England Revolution. In the next season, after the Club finished 3rd worst on the standings, he was reunited with his former boss Caleb Porter on January 8, 2013, when Porter was announced as the new Timbers Coach. Porter set out to help Darlington reinvent his game, playing him as an outside forward position instead of the midfield. The more advanced role yielded dividends, with his creativity and incisiveness helping the team become more lethal in attack.
In the 2013 season, the Timbers finished in first place in the Western Conference and third in the overall standings which earned them a spot in the Conference Championship series of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Atlanta United bought Darlington from Portland Timbers for $1.05 million and $600,000 in incentive-based add-ons on December 13, 2017. Under former Barcelona and Argentina Coach Gerardo Tata Martino, Nagbe was a part of an impressive frontline that scored the second most goals in the league.
On the international scene, Darlington was first called up to the United States National Team in 2015 and made his debut on November 13, 2015, against St. Vincent in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. His first National team goal was a 90th-minute winner in a friendly match against Ecuador on May 25, 2016.
Darlington was a part of the United States team that failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. During the qualifiers, he starting 7 of 10 matches.
Wife and Family
Darlington Nagbe met Felicia Houtz while in College, and the couple got married in 2012. The marriage is blessed with a son Kingston Nagbe and a daughter Mila Nagbe.
He was born to Somah and Joe Nagbe. His father Joe is a former professional football player who played for AS Monaco, Nice PAOK Thessaloniki, Panionios, PAS Giannina and Al-Jazira Club. Joe also captained the Liberian national team.
He has one older brother – Joe Nagbe Jr. and two younger sisters, Seta and Martha.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Darlington’s football style is built around intelligence, speed, clever footwork and quick short passes rather than an imposing physical frame. He stands at 1.75 meters (5 feet 9 inches) and weighs 75 kg. Information about his other body measurements is not available in the public domain.