Thursday, May 26, 2016

How great it is!

to see a young player begin to make his mark.   Darlington Nagbe  who has been a hard working and effective player for the Portland Timbers (may he take the pitch for us for many years to come) is beginning to come into his own.    This past week he hit two significant marks.  

A dazzling ball handler and distributor in the Timbers' midfield,  Nagbe has scored goals but has not been prolific.  He has much more often been the engineer behind the finishing touches.   In the Timbers' intense dustup with the Vancouver 'Caps last weekend,  Nagbe scored on a lovely free kick  to help the Timbers to a solid win.   Called up to the National Team immediately after,  he stepped onto the field in the second half of the US warmup vs Ecuador on Wednesday night.  The statistics say a lot.   He made all of his passes, a tribute I think to his talent and to the schooling under coach Caleb Porter.   Precision and poise.  And in the end,  he was there to score the winning goal , his first for the US and a critical one in his career. 

My guess is that these two strikes signal that Nagbe is ready to become the great player that all his many, many fans think he's capable of becoming.  He's gotten a reputation as the most-fouled player in the MLS and yet he's patient and even-tempered.  He's talented but is quiet about his talent.  What sport would not want to honor such a player as a role model and exemplar of what the game is intended to be?  

I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing the next chapter.