MLS- D.C. United

Source: Najar called up but not joining Honduras for CONCACAF Gold Cup


Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com

Andy Najar will play for Honduras someday. It just doesn't appear that day will be during this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Sources tell SBI that Najar was originally called up by Honduras manager Luis Fernando Suarez for the Gold Cup, but the 18-year-old midfielder will not be joining his country for the tournament. The reason for him not playing is unclear.

Reports out of Honduras suggest that there's a conflict between the Honduran federation and Najar's club team, D.C. United.

According to those reports, Honduras wants to have Najar for its pre-Gold Cup friendly against El Salvador on May 29 in Houston, but D.C. won't release him that early. Since that friendly is not being played on a FIFA date, D.C. isn't required to release Najar. The club happens to have a league match against Portland that day.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

  • The Dude

    I think this story is still developing. DC just said that they’ll allow him to leave.


  • uDaMan

    Najar will be playing for Honduras soon enough. That’s for sure. Everything else is…. everything else. And FIFA is clear on the rules. Teams have the right to refusal.


  • Jason

    You’re right John, but that’s not the situation. DC is refusing to release him for the friendly, which is their right.

    It appears that Honduras is then deciding to keep him off the roster because he is not availabe for the friendly.


  • Postmaster

    Here we go, now all our USA Nats players on Honduran club rosters will be held in retaliation. :-)


  • Second City

    “Maybe you lot in the Honduras Federation could trot’ out an older lad’ retiring from Honduras national team duty? ‘at way Najar could be made available for a testimonal match.”

    -Love, Becks


  • freddie footballer

    I don’t see why he can’t be on the GC roster if he misses an exhibition but anyways…


  • euroman

    If DC doesn’t release him they will lose him mentally and he will just be waiting to leave for his next club. ‘Play for the shirt’ when they don’t support his dream…not likely.


  • fischy

    His “dream”?

    He couldn’t decide which country to play for. I’m sure there’s some emotional connection, but mostly Andy’s just doing what he needs to do to showcase his talents.

    His “dream” is to play in Europe.


  • BrianK

    Who cares? Tim Ream should have been the MLS Rookie of the Year last season.


  • Eurosnob

    Why would Najar try to sabotage the club that discovered him and pays his salary? DCU did not release him because they need Najar to contribute, not because they are trying to undermine Honduran national team or Najar. He is mature enough to understand that his club needs him and will not have mental meltdown over missing a friendly game on a non FIFA date.


  • Mikey

    I think this started out looking like it might be something, but now is a non-story.


  • JoeW

    The Honduran Federation is incompetently run. Who knows what’s really going on here? As for the argument that this will crush Najar’s spirit and he’ll be lost “mentally”–how silly can you get. The club has made it clear for some time that they don’t have to release players on non-FIFA dates and really the only exception DCU would make would be for US players. And folks, there is a long history of MLS coaches not making non-USA players available but holding their respective NTs to the letter of the law on release dates.

    Here’s one possible reason the Honduran Federation is now doing this: it’s a PR excuse for not calling him up. Honduras doesn’t exactly have a ton of scouting resources. Najar hasn’t played a lot this season so far. Their coaching staff could just be at the point where they’ve concluded “heh–we’ve only seen him on TV once or twice, we’d rather go with a guy from our local league we’ve seen play 10 times, we’ll blame DCU for not allowing us to use him and that’s our pretext for subbing him out on the roster.” Why would they do this? Don’t know that they did–but the Honduran media has made a huge deal out of Najar and put a lot of pressure on him to play for the Catrachos.


  • abc

    The winner of the Rookie of the Year award and rookie who didn’t win all care, I’m sure.


  • americanfutbol

    Seems to me the only fair resolution to this issue is for DC United to sign Najar to a binding five-year contract and NEVER release him for Honduran duty until he has his USA citizenship. POACHED!


  • NF

    If Becks is allowed to play in a testimonial match and a young guy who isn’t even a starter for his club isn’t allowed to play in a preparation match for the Gold Cup, that would be disgraceful.


  • Jay

    Because he hasn’t ever played for Honduras or trained with the staff or the other players. It helps to at least know your teammates if your going to play international football in meaningful games. If he can’t play in any friendlies then he is essentially useless for the gold cup because that is no place to be trying to find out where he fits in.


  • Braden

    Yeah, I can’t help but hope this dispute means Najar missess opportunities to become cap-locked for another year or two and maybe, just maybe winds up in a US shirt afterall. :p


  • sven

    hahaha. Najar can’t leave for a national team game but Beckham can go to a wedding and a friendly. MLS is such a Mickey Mouse league


  • JoeW

    Okay…more details. DCU requested that Najar be available for the May 29th Portland match. It’s not a question of not releasing him–they were required to release him 14 days before the start of the Gold Cup, they were just asking for Najar to be allowed to play against Portland. DCU made two phone calls and two emails to the Honduran Federation. They spoke to the Honduran Fed Secretary General. Then on Thursday night, DCU got an email from the Honduran Federation saying basically that since DCU had not responded to anything and since their coach hadn’t seen Najar play and didn’t know him, they weren’t going to call him up.

    This is such a joke–I said that the Honduras FA is screwed up and incompetent. DCU doesn’t have to respond to anything. It’s a FIFA requirement that clubs have to release players 14 days before FIFA sanctioned senior competitions. But it’s also common for clubs to ask for some favors b/c of competition going on–especially if the player in question isn’t going to be in a friendly during the same time. For instance, DCU is having the exact same conversation with Canada about Dejan Jackovic (about making him available for the May 29th Portland match). Canada can say yes, Canada can say no, it’s not about the club releasing the player or having to respond.


  • Felix

    My first love in soccer was and always will be international soccer. I first fell in love with the sport during the ’86 World Cup. So, during the club vs country debate, I always side with the nation. Also, I always felt it was a bad idea for a club to upset the player IF he wanted to play for his nation.


  • blah-zay

    The clubs pay the players their salaries. And since it’s a non-FIFA date they have the right to refuse to release him. It’s not like DC are trying to sabotage Najar’s career. They have a vested interest in his development, but they also have a vested interested in winning games in MLS.


  • JoeW

    But here’s the deal: DCU didn’t refuse to make him available. DCU simply asked “could we have him back for our May 26th game in Portland?” That’s all they asked. It wasn’t even a demand–just a request. They asked 4 times (2x via email, 2x via phone) and never got a response back. They never made threats–they can’t…FIFA rules require a player be released 14 days before a FIFA sanctioned tournament. Honduras doesn’t have a friendly on the 26th so DCU thought it was a reasonable request. They already asked Canada about freeing up Dejan Jakovic for the 26th and Canada said “yes” (again, identical situation). Heck, some US players will be released to play in MLS games. That’s all this was.

    As I said earlier, the Honduran FA is incompetent. I suspect they just haven’t scouted Najar, originally had him listed due to public/media pressure, got cold feet and then this became an excuse for no callup (“DCU won’t release him”) which is totally bogus.


  • Kosh

    I agree with you, let’s completely ignore the fact that these are “team” decisions that way we can take full advantage of any small opening, be it relevant to the topic or not, to bash the “Mickey Mouse” league, you know whether that game has been so played out or not.


  • Dadryan

    little kids need balloons, shoulders to cry on, and national team call ups to be complete…lol.


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