Playing for your country in the highest honor in the world of football. Carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation is a privilege that is only given to a select few. Rejecting that call is something unheard of that cannot be comprehended. Enter Darlington Nagbe.
The Portland Timbers midfielder just put himself on the no-fly list after rejecting a call-up to the USMNT. One can argue that the games were simply friendlies, but they were preparing the squad for massive upcoming World Cup qualifier against arch-rival Mexico.
So, what gives, Nagbe?
We’ve all been pining for you to get your shot at the national team and waiting for you to show the class you’ve displayed in MLS and now you couldn’t care less about the work that put you in a position to play for the USMNT.
Family emergency and injury I can understand as viable reasons to reject the Stars and Stripes, but Darlington Nagbe simply cited “family time” as his reasoning for not joining up with USMNT.
This is a dream of many to wear the US colors with pride and it took Nagbe a long time to get citizenship in order to play for the national team.
Can't say I'm a fan of how Nagbe is handling the USMNT issue. Turning down a call up isn't the best way to get in the side in the future.
— US Soccer Feed (@ussoccerfeed) October 19, 2016
It is understandable that family is a priority, but it isn’t like you’re making a trip to the World Cup for a month. The time spent away from the family is a week at most and some sacrifice is required for achieving a dream like playing for the national team.
It is now more than likely that Darlington Nagbe won’t be receiving another call-up to the national team anytime soon or possibly ever. Upcoming matches are of the utmost importance and building chemistry for the 2018 World Cup is the main focus.
Nagbe has essentially shut the door on his future in a US shirt. Sacha Klejstan took and ran with the opportunity on his return to the national team and has been balling the fuck out.
Sure, Jurgen Klinsmann could have used him more in the side, but playing time has to be earned at that level. One simply doesn’t walk into the starting XI of the national team.
Nagbe has shot himself in the foot and has had the privilege of playing for the USMNT revoked. The only way to get back is to outperform Klesjtan or make the jump to Europe and ball out, and both look rather unlikely.