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Report: Crew set to acquire Nagbe in trade with Atlanta United

The Columbus Crew are reportedly set to acquire veteran midfielder Darlington Nagbe in a trade with Atlanta United.

According to The Athletic, Atlanta United has agreed to trade Nagbe to the Crew in exchange for a large sum of allocation money. The move would reunite Nagbe with his former head coach Caleb Porter, who he worked with at the University of Akron and the Portland Timbers.

Porter coached Nagbe at Akron from 2008-10 and with the Timbers from 2013-17, lifting an MLS Cup in 2015. This would be the second time Nagbe has been traded in his MLS career.

The 29-year-old was acquired by the Five Stripes in December 2017 and went on to make 56 league appearances over his two seasons in Atlanta. Nagbe scored two goals and registered five assists, while helping Atlanta lift their first MLS Cup in 2018. The Five Stripes’ quest for back-to-back league titles ended last week in a 2-1 Eastern Conference semifinal loss to Toronto FC.

He’s also won 25 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team, scoring one goal.

A move to the Crew would give Porter a familiar face to lead his midfield into the 2020 season. The Crew failed to make the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2019 in Porter’s first season as head coach, registering a 10-8-16 record and a 10th place finish in the 12-team Eastern Conference.

The trade could officially be announced as soon as Nov. 11th at 1 p.m., when an MLS trade window opens.


  1. My biggest question is if he’s all that, why do teams trade him. His third team now with only 2 years at Atlanta… Maybe its because he doesnt score much and his assists arent that great either? On the NAT level, I always thought Lee Nguyen was better if ever given a real chance (one without Bradley freezing him out). Same skill set as Nagbe plus assists and can score if his team wants. Currently his role seems to be to set up the stars for LAFC but I watched him for years when he was on the Revs and he CAN SCORE. Nagbe, Im not so sure

    • “”

      He has his reasons, but talent, skill and abilities are not part of the problem. Money issues or how he is being played, maybe, but not his performance on the field. Ask Tata Martino, Brad Guzan (as seen above) or Lexis Lalas.

  2. 5 assists in 56 MLS matches in the absolute prime of his career? And playing for Atlanta? I don’t care who you are or how rare a commodity your skillset is as an american – that’s not good enough. Simply put.

    • Nagbe’s skill only shows up in passing completion percentage. He is a supreme shuttler, going from the defensive third to the offensive third. Always a great outlet when a defense is being compressed and needs an outlet.
      At his age he needs to get on grass and fear the years in ATL and PDX put a lot of wear on his tires. At Portland he would routinely be hammered with persistent infringement and not get calls during the possession heavy Porterball years.
      I know Nagbe’s perspective has always been of an Ohio kid but his lack of foresight continues to hold his career back.

      • It appears to me that he played well with Pulisic. He relieved CP22 from all the transition responsibilities, and allowed him to run into dangerous spots where he could get the ball and go at a stretched defense. Too many times CP is the guy lugging it forward and the defense can corral him with more than one man. Maybe Nagbe would allow him to receive the ball in more isolated positions. Just thinking out loud.

    • Yeah, I can totally see why Nagbe quit the Nat Team
      I hope it is just a phase that American soccer is going thru, the ripping apart of American players that have incredible amounts of talent.
      Nagbe should be the poster child of what we need for this country. Great soccer talent, very athletic, smarter than smart. He isn’t perfect, no one is. Disappears at times for me, but come on…..
      He and his rings, that teams would NOT have won without him, will be able to weather the unsolicited and unwarranted criticism.

  3. Caleb Porter wants his former “Portland star” with him in Columbus. Just like in Portland he might be let loose to really showcase his talents. Hmmm, maybe playing for the crew gets you special privileges on the USMNT regardless. Interesting ?

    • USMNT interest have nothing to do with this move…..its been reported often that he has declined “several” callups for various reasons from Greg Berhalter…come on man, keep up

      • Ronniet,
        It looks like you can’t see sarcasm, so let me help you. Like why would a move to Columbus have anything to do with the USMNT?! Unless maybe I’m implying that dead beat players from Columbus Crew seem to somehow find their way on the National team with no stats or league performance to back it up. And if that flew over your head, Nagbe turned down call ups because he was called in as an injury replacement (INJURY REPLACEMENT, which means he was a substitute, hence he wasn’t really a factor to be included in the original line-up or plan) and he has better things to do with his time (like be with family) than play back-up on the bench to a baskets of fruit-cakes starting in midfield for the USMNT

        Keep up man


        this is 2016! Building a team around MB has started since the days of Klinsmann. Better players are played out of position to accommodate his talentless presence on the pitch, and blacklisted if they complain or speak out (like Feilhaber or Cameron). To add to that, NO MIDFIELDER has ever played well or development a strong partnership with Bradley in midfield. NO ONE!!! All who used Bradley in the middle have failed and have been fired, yet he STILL plays (to make matters worst now his little brother TRAPP is in the picture). But now it’s crunch time and GB is on the chopping block. If he doesn’t start playing skill and talent, he is out too

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