Transfer Tracker

Darlington Nagbe signs contract extension with Columbus Crew

Darlington Nagbe


The Columbus Crew have signed central midfielder Darlington Nagbe to a contract extension through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026, the club announced Friday. 

Nagbe, a three-time MLS champion and former US international, has captained the Crew under head coach Wilfried Nancy. One of the league’s best possession-based players, he’s amassed 38 goals and 46 assists in 386 regular-season games across 13 seasons.

“It’s hard to put into words what Darlington means to this club. He is a proven winner and difference-maker who has consistently shown why he is one of the most highly respected players in MLS for his leadership, character, and his performance on the pitch and how he carries himself off it,” Crew president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a release. 

“Darlington embodies the essence of a truly elite midfielder – smooth in possession with an uncanny ability to get out of very difficult situations on the field. He is revered by his teammates and opponents alike, and it was a priority for us to secure his long-term future in Columbus. We are excited that he and his family will remain members of the Crew and our city as we strive to win more championships.”

Nagbe has won MLS Cups during all three of his MLS stops, including 2015 with the Portland Timbers, 2018 with Atlanta United and 2020 with Columbus. 

The Ohio native turned pro when Portland selected him No. 2 overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas after a star-studded career at Akron University. Among his club accolades, Nagbe has earned two MLS All-Star nods and twice won AT&T 5G MLS Goal of the Year honors. 

“Playing in my home state the past four years and winning an MLS Cup with the Crew has been really special, and it’s a blessing to continue my career in Columbus, both for me and my family,” Nagbe, 33, said. “We have more work to do, but I’m excited about what we’ve accomplished together this season and the future direction of our club. 

“I’m proud to represent the Black & Gold, alongside my great teammates, and I’m thankful for the ongoing support from the Haslam, Johnson and Edwards families, Tim Bezbatchenko, Wilfried Nancy, the entire Crew staff and of course, our fans.” 

Nagbe has been a Designated Player for Columbus, often pairing in midfield alongside homegrown standout Aidan Morris. Together, they provided the spine of Columbus earning the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.