It seemed pretty harmless at the time, it didn’t look good, but it seemed harmless. Darlington Nagbe was subbed off in the 57th minute of the Atlanta United-Portland Timbers match on Sunday. It turns out that the Five Stirpes midfielder will miss between 2-3 months with a right abductor injury according to a report by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nagbe has been an integral part of the Atlanta United attack all season. While he doesn’t get the counting stats like goals and assists, his passing percentage is at 89% according to Whoscored and has helped keep Atlanta atop the Supporters’ Shield race. In addition, he has done an excellent job at replacing Carlos Carmona by playing further back in the field than he did with Portland and giving the defense extra support at times.
As far as who could step in, our own Payson Schwin had some ideas about who Tata Martino might look to in order to replace Nagbe on the MLS site, and the pun that he made about it was world class also.
Whoever fills in for the central midfielder will have big shoes to fill and we’ll have some analysis about who that might be and what they might offer as a huge game against Orlando City looms on Saturday.