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Honduras U-20 coach seeks Najar call-up

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The Honduran national team is trying to do everything it can to make sure that it doesn't lose teen phenom Andy Najar.

In a Honduran publication, U-20 head coach Javier Padilla announced that he will tryand bring Najar into the Honduras set up for the U-20 World Cup. Padilla also stated that he did not know of any other nations inquiring about the national eligibility of the 17-year old midfielder. The Catrachos begin the drive for the tournament qualification in December.

This is the second public statement by a Honduran coach about Najar in less than a week. Honduran head coach Juan De Dios Castillo announced last week during a press conference for the Catrachos match against El Salvador that the D.C. United midfielder is being watched for the next World Cup Cycle. Castillo later elaborated that he expected to call Najar in shortly. 

The 17-year-old has repeatedly stated that he was focusing on his club career with D.C. United and that his national team choice would be decided in the future. A green card holder who could potentially become an American citizen in three years, Najar could wind up holding off a national team decision for some time.

Think Najar will choose Honduras? Hope that if he joins the U-20 team that he reneges, ala Subotic? Should he wait for U.S. Citizenship?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. There is no way Najar is already better than any of our attacking players from South Africa. Better than who? Dempsey? Landon? Altidore? Gomez? Findley? Beasley? Holden? All these players have stronger track records than Najar.
    Najar has some upside as you say, but he’s a long way from being international material.
    People really tend to underestimate what it takes to be an international caliber player.

  2. No, you misread, or perhaps I didn’t express myself clearly enough.
    When I say:
    “I get a feeling people are doing an “Adu” again. He’s 17. It’s his first real season. He’s just a kid with promise so far. They’re a dime a dozen. Let him develop his game without any crazy pressure or else this has Adu el Dos (the hondurian version) written all over it again.”
    => I didn’t suggest Najar and Adu are similar. I suggested that if people start to build a hype machine around this kid, well it will be very detrimental to his development and career. I’ve been a soccer fan for over 35 years, and once thing I’ve learned is that players take time to develop. He’s only 17.

  3. Haig, perhaps you should actually read posts before lambasting about how you’re a soccer god and I know nothing of the sport.
    Did I ever say Najar was not a good player? No. Please learn how to read.
    What I’m saying is that and I quote from my own post: “He’s got some talent sure, but right now there is no way in hell he’s even a speck on the USMNT radar.”
    Because if you really think his performances thus far warrant him a call to the US senior team, then you’re the one that really has no clue. Maybe one day he’ll be good enough for international play, but he needs to continue to improve all aspects of his game if that it to be the case. Remember that at the same age the likes of Jozy Altidore was tearing MLS in a much more significant way, yet he is still struggling to find his way in Europe. Compared to what Jozy did around the same (9 goals and 8 assits in 17 games), Najar’s stats are unremarkable.
    So instead of being a basic Najar fanboy, take a step back and look at the bigger picture: Najar has some talent, but he has yet to make a major impact in MLS, and hasn’t proven anything yet. Let him develop his game for a few more years before you label him “phenom”.
    You sound exactly like the Adu fanboys of way back when he has still a 16 year old kid.
    If and when Najar actually starts to make an impact in one of the top 5 European leagues, then we can talk. Until then, he’s just a young player with promise and talent.
    I want to see him grow as a player and as a potential international, but you can’t rush things.

  4. If Najar is looking at a 3 to 5 year wait for U.S. citizenship, it is hard to imagine he doesn’t play for Honduras either in a FIFA U-20 tournament or maybe for the senior team if he keeps improving. It would be a long time to wait to put on a national jersey, and it looks like he will probably be fielding offers to play somewhere other than the MLS within 3 years. A consistently good Honduran team would make CONCACAF tournaments and qualifying more interesting, which for Nats fans should be a good thing.

  5. Just to clear things up a bit here. First, the statutory requirement for residency requires 5 years in lawful permanent resident status prior to naturalization though that may be reduced to 3 years if the alien received his green card through marriage to a USC and continues to “live in marital union” with the USC. In Andy’s case this does not apply and he must wait 5 years from the date he obtained his green card.

    Second, from all accounts Andy is a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and thus he may leave and re-enter the United States without the need to renew a Visa. That said, if he were to leave the US for a period of more than 6 months then that would break his continuous residence and it would likely require that he wait 5 additional years to obtain his citizenship and could also put his green card in jeopardy.

  6. it doesn’t matter if you have citizenship, it matters if you are eligible to have citizenship. for Jones, he is a natural citizen of the US, since his father is a US Citizen, so while he had never exercised that right (As far as I know) once he asked for it, he got it.

    Najar only has residency in the US, so is not US-eligible.

    I think he takes Honduras, personally. he’s not eligible for US citizenship for three years, and (this is an important catch) in order to get that, has to be a resident of the US for that entire period. which means no Europe until he’s 21. if good Euro teams are calling say next summer, or the one after, why not go?

  7. Mat, if you followed DCU, you would not have suggested that Najar is another version of Freddy Adu. Najar’s character is the opposite of Adu. Najar is very humble and has a great work ethic. Adu was hyped by media, but Najar gets rave reviews from his coaches and teammates! Did you realize that Najar works his butt off every game and plays both ends of the field (defends and attacks)?

  8. Three goals in 20 games for a DC United side that is one of the worst teams in league history. Their offensive game is buffoonish at best– the only forward with any idea of how to score goals is an elderly Jaime Moreno, too decrepit to be on the field for more than 15 minutes per game, and even then he hobbles around. Najar is literally the only player whom defenders have to worry about, and he still beats defenders on the dribble and makes great crosses which are inevitably wasted by the other DC attackers. He has great finesse and preternatural vision. I pity you for not recognizing what a phenom Najar is, because knowing so little about soccer, you must be very confused watching the sport.

  9. Mat, I agree with your post, except Najar is not an average player. I did not expect much from him when DCU signed him, but he has a fantastic upside. At only 17, he has tons of attacking flair and plays both ends of the field. If you watched DCU’s Open Cup game against Columbus, Najar was the best player on the field, giving fits to Crew’s defense even when DCU was one man down. He is already better than several players that played for the USMNT in South Africa.

  10. Agree Daniel but for a different reason. I think that honduras should go get him and secure him. Additionally, having Najar playing for Los catrachos will, if he proves to be as good as it seems like he will be, make honduras even stronger. In my opinion this is what we need to have happen and, that is, to have strong teams that force us to get better. This is more important for the long trm growth of concacaf and the USMNT than this one player playing for old glory.

  11. Jahinho, I don’t understand you are so bitter about the US trying to recruit players from different ethnic backgrounds. Are they poaching any more than let’s say Portugal (from Brazil) or France (from African countries)? Should Rossi, who grew up in New Jersey, be banned from playing for Italy. Or Dos Santos, who has Brazilian citizenship, from playing for Mexico? Is Zidane any lesser player because he played for France rather than Algeria?

    Also, Najar has not played a single game for Honduras so he does not need to invoke the rule to commit to the US program. It’s his free choice – just like his choice to live here instead of Honduras. Willardo is correct that Najar came through the DCU youth program, which is part of the US development system.

  12. Either way I hope he succeeds… I believe he came here at 12 or 13, he is largely a US and MLS bred player, which is good no matter which national team he plays for

  13. He only has a work permit which means he hasnt received a green card yet or is in the process of getting one. Therefore you cant leave the country. It takes a while to finally get the green card. i went through it as a teenager as well.

  14. I’m sure you think I’m a democrat who is trying to slam republicans over immigration. I’m not, I’m officially independent and don’t like either group much. There is lots of posturing from both groups about illegals but all the while they have made the path to citizenship harder for legal immigrants. It’s the fault of both democrats and republicans. It’s something I oppose.

    Look at some of the other comments on the process getting harder for people. It’s a reality and yes, it’s a political statement, but it’s not a democratic or republican one.


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