It appears the mystery as to why Darlington Nagbe hasn’t featured for the US men’s national team under Gregg Berhalter has finally been revealed.
The Atlanta United midfielder turned down offers to join the USMNT as an injury call-up for Duane Holmes in the Concacaf Gold Cup and again for the upcoming international friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay, The Athletic reported on Tuesday night.
According to MLSsoccer.com's Charles Boehm, Nagbe declined a call-up last year as well.
It runs contrary to what Nagbe told reporters after his Man of the Match performance to help lead Atlanta to a Campeones Cup win over Club America.
“I think on the roster he’s kinda went with younger guys, which is fine, I understand it completely, I’m not opposed to it,” Nagbe said of Berhalter. “They have veteran leadership with Michael Bradley, and I think he’s been one of the best men’s players for a long (time) now. I haven’t been opposed to anything (Berhalter) has done. I’m just focusing on this season (with Atlanta) and I’m happy with the way it’s going so far.”
The 29-year-old has made 25 appearances for the USMNT, including starting seven of 10 matches in the Hex as the US failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
“I have a lot of respect for Darlington as a player, he’s a player I’ve admired for a while," said Berhalter on Wednesday. "I’ve watched him for years. Regarding the conversations I've had with him, I'm going to keep the content of those conversations private like I always do.”
Nagbe has started 25 of the 26 regular season games he’s played in for Atlanta this year. He has one goal and two assists.