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Plaudits come for humble Portland Timbers draftee Nagbe

The 2011 MLS SuperDraft second selection, Darlington Nagbe, has been labeled as a very humble and unassuming young man. The 20-year old Liberian-born forward was taken by expansion franchise Portland Timbers in the draft but he has not let his high selection go to his head.

Akron Zips coach Caleb Porter, who mentored Nagbe at university, said that the player had the temperament to make it at the top level.

"He doesn't like a lot of the fame and the attention," Porter told The Oregonian. "He's very unselfish and you would never know what a great kid he is. He's a very humble, soft spoken and genuine kid with a big heart.

"Everything that is happening for him - and he deserves it - isn't going to change who he is as a person. He's just so grounded. That's what has made him such a great kid. And he'll stay that way."

Timbers coach John Spencer agreed with Porter's sentiments.

"Every time you talk to him, you walk away thinking he's someone you would be happy if your daughter brought him through door and said, 'Hey dad, this is who I'm marrying,' " Spencer said. "You go up to your room and think, 'Thank God she brought home a good one.' That's probably the highest compliment I could pay the kid."

Nagbe was brought it with humble beginnings in war-torn Liberia, on Africa's west coast, before his family fled in 1991 when he was five months old.

Darlington said his father, Joe, who was the captain of the Liberian national team was the one he looked up to for helping get the family where they are today.

"My dad got us out of the country safely," said Nagbe. "I look up to him for that, taking care of the family like he did.

"We didn't have a whole lot, but we lived okay. We never had to worry about food or anything like that, but we were never rich."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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