It’s no secret that Columbus Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe is a gifted player on the pitch. Tuesday afternoon he was rewarded for his efforts this season as Major League Soccer announced the Black & Gold midfielder earned a spot on the 2022 MLS All-Star Team.
Nagbe will feature as one of the league's best midfielders as the MLS All-Stars battle the best of Mexico’s LIGA MX on Aug. 10 at Allianz Field, the home of Minnesota United, in St. Paul.
The 26-player roster was determined through a combination of fan, player and media voting. Players can still be added to the roster via selection from Minnesota United Head Coach Adrian Heath and/or Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber.
Nagbe becomes the third Crew player to feature in an MLS All-Star game in the last four contests. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen represented the Black & Gold in 2018 and midfielder Lucas Zelarayan was at the event in 2021. Columbus didn’t have a representative in the 2019 All-Star game and the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nagbe last appeared in the 2016 MLS All-Star game as a member of the Portland Timbers. He and the rest of the MLS All-Stars battled English Premier League Club Arsenal and fell by the score of 2-1 in San Jose, California. He is the 25th player in club history to appear in the midseason exhibition and also the first American-born Crew player to play in the All-Star Game since Steffen appeared in 2018 against Italian powerhouse Juventus.
The 31-year-old midfielder comes into this year’s contest with a unique distinction. Nagbe is the only player to play in the MLS All-Star Game and win three MLS Cups (2015, 2018, 2020). He has collected championships with Portland, Atlanta United and Columbus.
During the 2022 campaign, the Crew midfielder has enjoyed a strong run of form. He has appeared in 18 regular season contests (all starts), scoring three goals this season, most recently against Toronto FC during a 2-1 victory in the Trillium Cup on June 29 in Toronto.
Nagbe has also completed 865 of his 937 attempted passes this season, which earns him a 92.3 percent completion percentage. That mark is the highest among players in MLS who have logged at least 1,000 minutes this season.
Since joining the Black & Gold ahead of the 2020 campaign, Nagbe has paid dividends. He has appeared 66 times (65 starts) and collected six career goals along with six assists. He has maintained a pass completion percentage of 93.8 percent during his time in Central Ohio.
The Crew returned to action on Wednesday evening on the road against D.C. United and is home for the Hell is Real Derby against FC Cincinnati on Sunday, July 17.