- Doug Roberson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Here’s the second part of an exclusive interview with Atlanta United’s Darlington Nagbe. The interview was conducted Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Q: Have you spoken with any Atlanta United teammates or manager Gerardo Martino yet?
A: I haven’t spoken with Martino yet but a couple of Atlanta United players reached out and welcomed me to the team.
Q: With the unfortunate results in the qualifying for the World Cup, what is your plan or goal with the U.S. men’s national team. What do you want? What is your best case with the U.S. men’s national team?
A: The best-case scenario is to go through another cycle and qualify for the World Cup. I’m 27 now, I’ll be 32 then. I’m going to go as long as I can and play for as long as I can. In a couple of years there will be youngers players coming up. If I can help the team qualify, I’m there for that.
Q: When did you let Portland know that you would like to be traded or transferred?
A: Toward the end of the season, after a couple of weeks.
Q: When did this all come together?
A: I saw someone said midseason. I don’t know where that came from. It was near the end of the season. I went in and politely talked to Portland. Told them I would prefer to leave. I was lucky. The situation isn’t always you go where you want to go. Atlanta wanted me and I wanted to be here. So, it worked out.
Q: How close did you come to going to Celtic last year?
A: It was close. It was a matter of the transfer fees and things like that. They couldn’t get it worked out.
Q: Is that still a hope, Europe?
A: Right now, I’m happy to be in Atlanta, looking at it as a long term, not short term thing. I was in Portland for seven years. When I do something I look at for long term, always.
Q: What about Atlanta are you looking forward to seeing?
A: The city. Someone said it’s the Hollywood of the South. The soccer part is why I’m here, but at same time I’m looking forward to bringing my wife and my two little kids here and exploring the city and seeing what the city has to offer. Hopefully we can grow with the city and the team, as well.
Q: I will be crushed on social media if I don’t ask you this question: Who is your favorite Atlanta rap group?
A: I like Outkast. They haven’t been around as much lately. I like T.I. when he was coming up. Who else? Can’t forget Ludacris. I like TLC. Migos. I like all of them. Waka Flocka was at a game?