MLS- D.C. United

Clarifying the Andy Najar situation

Andy Najar (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com


There are few things that stir the imagination of soccer fans more than the rise of a promising young prospect, and no young player in Major League Soccer is stirring emotions like Andy Najar.

The D.C. United academy product has become the subject of various reports from Honduras to England, with a stories ranging from off-season destinations to his national team preferences. The Honduran-born sensation has apparently been the subject of some incorrect reports.

Najar's agent, Chris Megaloudis of Long View Management, clarified some of the stories, including stories of a reported post-season training stint with English club Arsenal, as well as his national team preference.

Megaloudis denied that Najar is set to train with Arsenal, stating clearly that no plans have been made yet for Najar's offseason.

"There are no firm plans for Andy in the offseason," Megaloudis said. "He is a D.C. United player so it will be up to them about what they let him do.

"He and I both want him to be in a good training environment during the off season but nothing is set."

Megaloudis also addressed conflicting rumors and reports about Najar's national team preference. A native of Honduras who has a green card in the United States, Najar has yet to make a decision about a national team preference, a decision that may wait a while for the 17-year old.

"He is still a very young guy with limited professional experience under his belt," Megaloudis said. "He needs to get through this MLS season before he is even going to think about his national team future.

"He is concentrating on his soccer and his studies at the moment and we will  all sit down when the time is right to explore his national team future."

  • Goose

    Yeah, I get that. I meant in the instance that he does get US citizenship within the next few years.

    Being that he does become a US citizen, isn’t it the case that once he features for the senior squad of either Honduras or the US, or turns 21, then and only then does he become cap-tied?


  • Ryan

    I think Ives has said in the past he just lets Google provide the ads, so Man City has probably just bought Google Ad space and Google sees SBI as a good fit.

    It’s better than the Cougar Life ads, etc. from the past :)


  • Wispy

    In reality, the next FIFA event for capping is the 2011 Gold Cup, and only Honduras can call him up for that because that’s his sole sitizenship. If they do, and he accepts and gets capped, then he’s Honduras for life. If he declines, and subsequently gains U.S. citizenship, then he can possibly play for either country.

    Now, who here thinks Honduras will neglect to call him up? Not a chance. He’ll have a decision to make next summer.


  • Barry U

    I think that he has cleared it up pretty well for now. And the answer is “I DON”T KNOW”! Which if I was him/agent/family is the way to go. The US does not do anything to expedite these things for athletes so if the choice is the US then he needs to wait until he can legaly become a US citizen. If Honduras is the choice then nothing really to do but wait to get called. He has 2 options why rush or says things that you are going to regret later.

    This will continue to happen. We already have Rossi and Suboctic examples and more are in the pipeline Mwanga, Najar, Lletget, Zahavi, Yura Mosian(SP?) and others that we have heard about yet.

    Do i hope he chooses the US? Of course. I want the most talent possible at our disposal. But constantly asking a 17 year old kid about this decision is not COOL!


  • This Guy

    He wouldn’t be cap-tied regardless of his citizenship in a non-NT match. Meaning U20, U17 or the Olympics.


  • Kevin_Amold

    Interesting. I did not know that. The thing about google ad space, that is.

    I remember well the Cougar Life era. Those were the days, huh?


  • Neruda

    Two observations:
    1. If Najar keeps impressing with DC united than inevitably more rumors are going to fly about his club and an national team future.
    2. If he wants a chance to play in WC’s and other big tournaments on the national team level he must choose the US. If his heart is with his nation of birth then he must choose Honduras.


  • BooThisMan

    Wow, that interview is pretty crazy. The reporter basically asks him a half-dozen times under various guises which national team he will represent. Najar keeps coming back with his stock response that he’s only focused on United, and his decision will come later. By the end, the reporter is practically begging him to commit to Honduras.


  • Glass

    Yanks Abroad did an article on the roster. He said he didn’t pick people that are playing for their clubs or fighting for spots. Bowen and McInerney are under that category, and the midfield is pretty stacked so I don’t know if Gil should have made it.


  • Lost in Space

    A player is only Cap-Tied to a Nation once they have played in a Senior Level Competitive match. Competitive Matches are: World Cup Qualifiers, Confederations Cup, or Regional Tournaments like the Gold Cup. But a player at the Senior level must be a Citizen (dual or otherwise) of the country they wish to play for.

    FIFA lifted the Age restrictions of having to declair by a players 21st birthday as well as Friendly Compititions. So until Najar or any other “Wish List” player meets the requirements above they are fair game.


  • K-Town

    He sure as hell didn’t look 5’3″ when he out jumped Buddle for his header the other night. He plays fearlessly and with joy, I love it.


  • K-Town

    Yeah, I have noticed the upgrade in advertisers too. But dang it, I miss the Cougar ad.


  • John

    The next Freddy Adu!!! He is going to be pulled so many different directions. MLS is so hungry for talent they put the few promising kids out on the field too early and get their confidence shot. He is 17. Onalfo makes comments like “Najar is our best player. I dont know if that is a good or bad thing.” He has to be the most clueless coaches of the bunch. Don’t get me wrong I think it is great that he is an mls academy player. But he has played what 8 games and they are talking about Arsenal trainings and national teams. Let the kid be a kid.


  • r.benjamin

    Agreed. However I think there’s nothing wrong with showing him the USA fold (college recuiting style) before he decides.

    Invite him to the USA Camp for the friendly v Brazil. Room him with Paco or Castillo players who had a choice and chose USA. Then run him out v Brazil for 10 mins. Keeping it mind that he isn’t tied..just a trial.


  • Four4Two

    He moved to the States when he was 13. So, he could be eligible for citizenship sometime in the next year. Hopefully before June.


  • Brian

    Well Mancini did say he was going after Donovan today, at least according to the transfer blog on soccernet.


  • moosecat

    as a huge national team fan i am comfortable with him choosing Honduras. in fact I am hoping for it.


  • Creige

    I wouldn’t hold against him either. He’s a great talent (I was RFK this past Sunday and he looks even better in person) and we would be extremely lucky if he chose the US. I also think it’s good for the MLS to raise the standard of these Carribean and Central American teams and to have as many players in our league as possible represented on the world stage.


  • Mike

    I agree as well. If anything, Najar is the type of player who will benefit CONCACAF as a whole whether he chooses the US or Honduras. If the Central American teams like Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras continue to develop it will help push the US in preparing for the higher level teams in South America and Europe come World Cup time and make for more competitive and interesting CONCACAF tournaments.


  • Paul Thomas

    Feilhaber and Holden both moved here as little kids, anyway. They’re hardly ringers.

    Jermaine Jones, on the other hand…


  • Louis Z

    his only choice right now is Honduras, He is not a US citizen, if he wants to become a US citizen then he would need to meet the required time (currently is 5 years plus being 18 y.o.) he would need to request a special process which the US does for special cases a la david regis, here is the problem, USMNT has to show that this kid is a special case, with Regis, he was pretty much the only leftback pro that we had, I think with Andy is more of a prospect.

    (SBI-His only choice RIGHT NOW is Honduras, but who says he has to make a decision yet? He already has a green card, which means he’s anywhere from one to three years from getting citizenship. It’s not THAT far off in the future. He could have it before he turns 21, meaning before 2014. Not saying he’s leaning one way or the other, but he’s certainly not prevented from playing for the USA at this rate.)


  • Paul Thomas

    Better competition. If you want to move up in the world rankings (hint: seeding), you have to beat good teams reasonably often. It helps when you actually PLAY good teams reasonably often. It also poses a stiffer test for players and gives you more high-level games to test players in.

    It’s the same reason smart college hoops teams schedule difficult nonconference games. They’re trying to beef up their strength of schedule and test their players so they’ll be ready come tournament time.


  • BigLustyGirl

    El Gringo for Gringo Torres also relates to his light skin (as well as his American birth). Not every Mex/Amer who plays in Mexico or south of the border is referred to as gringo. It really isnt Gringo Castillo (Edgar). Najar isnt light enough to garner the Gringo title.


  • BigLustyGirl

    uh, when Obama was debriefing General McCrystal on taking the role of Afghanistan commander, the Prez said an entire wing of the White House erupted in cheers over Donovan’s goal against the Algerians. I dont think you’d have to leave the White house staff to find some weight in getting Najar for the US


  • guwinster

    Is his agent related to the Puerto Rican national team player with the same name?


  • TimN

    Well, if he’s very nationalistic, he may decide to play for Honduras. However, if he’s more on the pragmatic side, and wants to have a national team career that extends beyond playing in WCQ games, and actually involves playing in a WC regularly, then he’ll choose the U.S. Prior to this WC, the last time Honduras played in a WC was 1982, their only other appearance…not a good track record.


  • Ben

    Yeah, but countries like Honduras are simply too small to consistently produce World Cup teams. A couple good cycles will be followed by a couple weak ones. CONCACAF is always going to be this way because so many countries are, well, tiny.


  • Ted Decker

    And to my understanding there are practically no restrictions on how they go about this process unlike college football! Someone get this kid an escalade with a suitcase of unmarked bills and a high end escort in the back seat!


  • EdTheRed

    Actually, the easiest and fastest way for him to become a citizen is for one of his parents to become a citizen *before* he turns 18, which would automatically make him a citizen. Not sure if he’s got a parent who’s eligible in the next few months, though (probably not).


  • Dennis

    He is 17!
    Even Messi, who was clearly identified as a great prospect by then or C. Renaldo were still works in progress. At 17, I think Roney was playing at Everton and scored some goals, but while he looked like he would be unstoppable and he is still a great player, in the W.C. he showed that he still has a way to go.
    Nice for the kid he is getting so much attention, but for the future success of US soccer, we need more so that at least a few will actually develop into great players.
    Michael Bradley was hardly the star of his U17 nat. team in 2003, but he is the only one who seems to have continued to develop at a pace to excel on the full national team. The others Adu, E. Gavin, Spector, C. Ashe, D. Szetela, R. Rogers who have appeared for the full USMNT are still in the mix, but in 2003, I don’t think anyone would have guessed that Bradley would become the brightest star 7 years later. FWIW, the 5 goal-scorers in the U-17 W.C. for that team were Adu(4), Brandon Owens, Jamie Watson, Steven Curfman, Guillermo Gonzalez.

    It is hard to get that excited until the kid hits 20 or so.


  • Dennis

    Sorry, not sure Ashe or Szetela actually played for the full USMNT, but they are earning a living in MLS. as did Tim Ward and maybe a few others.


  • Murph

    He will look pretty good linkiung up with El Gringo in 2014… It’s a no brainer, Honduras and the USA are miles apart in rankings. Period! He will chose USA.


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