The Columbus Crew have acquired United States international midfielder Darlington Nagbe from Atlanta United for at least $1.05 million in allocation money, the club announced on Wednesday.
Atlanta is receiving $700,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an international roster spot, all for the 2020 season. The Five Stripes will also receive $200,000 in TAM for the 2021 season. Should Nagbe hit certain performance-based incentives, Atlanta will receive an additional $375,000 in allocation money.
"Darlington Nagbe is a proven winner and the type of player who can be a difference-maker in our team," said Crew president and GM Tim Bezbatchenko. "In addition to his skill set, we believe that Darlington is someone whose character and values fit well within our organization. As we stated heading into this offseason, we continue to look both domestically and internationally for players that will make our team better, and we believe Darlington is an important part of those efforts."
Nagbe, 29, will be reunited with Crew manager Caleb Porter, who coached the midfielder at the University of Akron from 2008-10, with the pair helping the Zips to a NCAA title in 2010. The two also worked together in MLS with the Portland Timbers from 2013-17.
Nagbe was born in Monrovia, Liberia, but settled in the Cleveland area when he was 11 years old. In a bid to return to Ohio, Nagbe reportedly tried to force a trade to the Crew prior to the start of the 2019 season, but a deal wasn't completed then. Now that deal has come to fruition.
Nagbe has been a key contributor over the course of two seasons in Atlanta, filling a role where he linked defense to attack. He helped the Five Stripes win the 2018 MLS Cup, as well as the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Overall, Nagbe recorded two goals and seven assists in 62 league and playoff appearances. During his seven seasons with the Timbers, his offensive output was greater, recording 28 goals and 32 assists in 226 league and playoff appearances. He helped the Timbers claim the 2015 MLS Cup crown.
At international level, Nagbe has appeared 25 times for the U.S., scoring once, but has reportedly turned down call-ups under current manager Gregg Berhalter.