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Najar nets first professional goal, assist, as D.C. cruises to U.S. Open Cup victory

Andy Najar (TonyQuinnISI)

Photo by Tony Quinn/


WASHINGTON – Andy Najar scored his first professional goal and assisted on one of Adam Cristman's two goals, as D.C. United defeated FC Dallas, 4-2, in a U.S. Open Cup qualifying game at RFK Stadium.

Najar, a 17-year-old D.C. United Academy product, ran onto a gorgeous cross from Cristman to score a goal that gave United a 3-0 lead in the 51st minute.

"I've been working hard all season, and I just keep working hard to show the talent that God has given me," Najar said through a translator.

When asked if he was amazed that just months ago he was scoring in high school games and now he's scoring professionally, the humble but confident Najar laughed and responded, "Yes, I'm a little surprised."

Najar's night, in which he played in an attacking midfield position more up the field, started off well. 

He assisted on Cristman's first goal, in the 4th minute, touching the ball to the striker. Cristman then chipped the ball from the top of the penalty area over Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman, who was well off his line, to give United an early 1-0 edge.

A Hartman blunder led to United's second goal, when he mishandled Cristian Castillo's 39th-minute free kick from about 40 yards out.

Just moments after Najar scored D.C.'s third goal, he nearly scored again on an identical sequence, as a Cristman cross from the right found him in stride about eight yards out. Hartman was able to get his feet on the shot, though, to prevent D.C. from taking a 4-0 lead.

On the ensuing sequence on the other end of the field, a failed clearance gave Bruno Guarda a clear shot on goal from 18 yards out, and he cashed in to give Dallas some life.

A 56th-minute penalty on Rodney Wallace allowed Dax McCarty to bring the Hoops within 3-2, but Cristman took advantage of Hartman being off his line again, by lobbing a header into an empty net two minutes later.

The win marked the first for Curt Onalfo as D.C. United's head coach, although he wasn't on the field to see the game through. He was sent off in the 32nd minute after arguing a foul call with referee Chris Penso.

United will host another U.S. Open Cup play-in game on May 12, when Real Salt Lake will come to town with a spot in the tournament's Round of 16 on the line.


  1. “…delve into the fine works of t.s. eliot, dylan thomas, and william bulter yeats”

    wrong high school. Najar went to Edison so more like he didn’t delve into the fine works of Bob Vila, Tim “the toolman” Taylor, and Dale Earnhardt.

  2. If some sort of amniesty is granted to illegals in this country, will they then be eligible to play for the US?

    I think they won’t have citizenship but they will have legal status and be eligible for starting the citizenship process.

  3. Maybe if his classmates put as much effort in their schoolwork as he puts in training then they could get jobs even in a competitive market.

    Don’t just blame the schools. Parents play a role and ultimately it is up to the student to put in the work.

    As for him, the DC academy is sort of like a technical school–if you’re not going the college path then you’d better find yourself some sort of technical training instead of just waiting to get your diploma or GED and hit the minimum wage job line.

  4. His success should comfort all his classmates with no jobs because they were passed through the grades without learning basic language.

  5. Minor correction, I believe Najar scored the goal with his foot not his head.
    As for harping on the attendance, ummm it was a 1st round qualifying match no one in the league draws well for a USOC qualifying match. RBA is days old and you still can’t sell it out.

    Why don’t you win something besides a pre-season tournament before talking.

  6. DC announced an attendance of 2800 for last night’s game, and their attempt at a streaming video broadcast was a disaster. The fact that the chorus of whining castratos who ripped on NY for their higher attendance and better broadcast haven’t said a thing about DC demonstrates that there’s no substance to the hater crowd: they’re just looking for some reason to complain about NY.

  7. Yes — as a resident of the USA, Najar would be eligible to play for USA youth teams — if that’s what you’re wondering. As for the USMNT, it would require citizenship. It’s up to the country to define that term.

  8. If you spend a certain amount of time in a country during your youth aren’t you eligible to play for them? Like Subotic? Because I don’t think Subotic was ever a citizen just a green card resident.

  9. Avi,

    the first goal description is not correct as Cristman lobbed Hartman (who was well off his line) with his foot. Cristman did score his 2nd goal on a header.

  10. My favorite 2 lines:

    The win marked the first for Curt Onalfo as D.C. United’s head coach, although he wasn’t on the field to see the game through. He was sent off in the 32nd minute after arguing a foul call with referee Chris Penso.

  11. Attendance was pretty dismal. Probably 2,000? Maybe less.

    It was fun though. And the team was having a good time on the field.

  12. Music to my ears. Najar is solid. He will be a star for Honduras in the future. It really doesn’t make any sense how a kid can go to high school without speaking English, but whatever, that’s for another website. I’m just glad we got that weight off our shoulders with the first win. Let’s carry it through to Saturday afternoon.

  13. when he is 23 in europe and up to his eyes in money and women, I’m sure he will truly wish he was not able to delve into the fine works of t.s. eliot, dylan thomas, and william bulter yeats

  14. For DC — Najar and Cristman looked really good, and Perkins looked pretty good. Wallace looked terrible on defense, as he was responsible for both Dallas goals, and got toasted on a counter-attack that nearly produced a goal. Glad to see a win, and possibly a new striker combo, but the defense is still too shaky and there are so many injuries.

    For Dallas — Sala can remain secure in his position. Hartman looked like a clueless rookie. Shea looked dangerous — though another recent signing getting his first action, 4th-rd choice Jordan Graye, made Shea look better by misplaying him, repeatedly. Looks like Dallas is headed for league cellar this year.

  15. Anyone there have a guess as to the attendance?

    Glad to see Najar doing so well, at least we were able to pick up one solid player… Glad to see Cristman stepping up as well.

    Time for our 10 game winning streak! Sigh…


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