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."

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91 Responses to Clarifying the Andy Najar situation

  1. Timmy says:

    Cap him!

  2. Kevin_Amold says:

    Glad we could clear that up.

    Another thing I’d like to see cleared up, has Manchester City launched a takeover of SBI? Just kidding. Has a club such as Man City ever advertised on here before? If not, it’s probably a little flattering that your blog is attracting such attention.

  3. Adam says:

    Ughhh… if we could get him in the red, white and blue. Wow.

  4. Brian says:

    That didn’t really clarify anything. That was basically one giant “No comment” from his agent

  5. Erik says:

    What is he? 5 foot 3?

  6. Rekro says:

    And he shall be known as… Andy ” El Gringo” Najar.

  7. texgator says:

    Agreed, Brian. The only thing clarified was how unclear the situation is.

  8. nam says:

    That is ‘former MLS player’ agent to you!

  9. John says:

    A while? The Concacaf qualifier for the U-20 World Cup is next year. Time is running out.

  10. Mark says:

    Wait…is his agent Chris Megaloudis, as in former RBNY player (no idea where he is now) and Puerto Rico National Team player? Or some other Chris Megaloudis?

  11. mrf says:

    How well does he speak English? I’ve only seen him interviewed in Spanish. I know he moved here 4 years ago. I think language could be an indicator of where he’s at emotionally. A teenager who doesn’t speak a lick of English probably doesn’t have much of an emotional connection to the USA.

  12. mikeandike says:

    Green card does not equal citizenship. I had to wait 7 years to get mine after the green card, these days, post 9/11 it’s even longer. Now, you gotta think that there’s at least one DC fan who has some pull on the hill and may be able to forward his application through a bit faster, right?

  13. Alexx says:

    yeah, his name is sunil gulati

  14. Glass says:

    Every time I see this kid play I’m amazed. And although I think he could be a star for the US, if his heart is in Honduras that’s where he needs to go. That’s where I’ve gotten to with these players. They need to go where they want to go… and no hard feelings.

  15. Adam says:

    Agreed. The kid should go where he wants to go and he’d make a great addition for Honduras. If he comes here… fantastic. If not… I’m still a fan.

  16. Wispy says:

    Yes, but with the cap he’d be 5 foot 4, at least.

  17. Pete says:

    They are actually two different people. The former NYRB and PR National team player is currently playing in the Serbian 3rd Division. The agent went to UVA and FIU and was a youth coach with DC United according to his bio on the LVM website.

  18. Ben says:

    It clarifies by making the uncertainty clear. So, no one will now say that he is committed to one side or another. I can very much respect this position. He is far too young to cast his lot with one side or the other and possibly regret it. By all accounts, this kid lives, breathes, and eats soccer, which is a welcome relief from some of the other younger players who seem quite enamored of the lifestyle that soccer affords as much as the game itself. I, for one, will enjoy watching a young talent develop-that’s right develop!-in the MLS. Let him focus on soccer and make his decision when he is ready.

  19. Clayton says:

    Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this bright young player.

    By the way – Those might be the sweetest warm-up jerseys I’ve ever seen (or is that a game jersey). Nicely done, DC

  20. Berto says:

    I was wondering the same thing. Just not happy it’s City doing all the advertising on this blog.

  21. froboy says:

    short guys never make great players, just ask Messi

  22. Mingjai says:

    He could marry an American, amend his application, and have citizenship in 3 years after receiving a green card. Otherwise, I think the legal minimum residency requirement green card holders to receive citizenship is 5 years.

  23. Clayton says:

    Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this bright young player.

    By the way – Those might be the sweetest warm-up jerseys I’ve ever seen (or is that a game jersey). Nicely done, DC

  24. Tonywtza says:

    I don’t think the USSF (or fans) should be begging hot prospects to join the national team. We have some very good homegrown talent. I think (aside from Altidore and Feilhaber)the rest of the WC roster was born and bred in the US. Let these prospects make their own decision without pressure from the federations. Would anybody really be upset if Freddy Adu decided to play for Ghana? Didn’t think so.

  25. Lost in Space says:

    Would love to have a player like him as part of the ever expanding Player Pool for the USMNT, but at 17 its still a little early to project him as a “Saviour” or “Lock” as a professional. I’m not saying that the US National Team(s) shouldn’t extend camp offers to him to let him know that we are interested, but give the Kid a chance to make up his own mind without undue pressure/expectations.

    Besides there are other players we should also be focusing on before they go the way of Rossi or Subtic (sp). For instance: Michael Hoyos, Daniel Williams, Alex Zahavi, Fabian Johnson, etc… These are players who can begin to contribue Now and in the future.

    Najar maybe (stressed) able to contribute in 2014, but more realistically he’s a prospect for 2018 along with players like William Packwood, Jack McInerney, Erik Benjaminsen, Juan Agudelo, Luis Gil, and Charles Renken.

    Just my opinion.

  26. BooThisMan says:

    Altidore was born in the US. Stuart Holden was born in Scotland. Otherwise, I think you’re right.

  27. Ricky B. Free says:

    D.C. United´s wonder kid was not Adu and turned out to be Andy Najar, nicely donde United.

  28. ssquared22 says:

    Wait, Chris Megaloudis as in former MetroBull? Crazy!

  29. DC Josh says:

    In this interview (in spanish) it’s clear Najar is undecided on which country he will represent.

    link to laprensa.hn

    He is getting loads of heat from Honduras on which country he is going to choose. In that interview, he is asked about it almost every question, and his answer to each is he is concentrating on his career right now and has yet to decide.

    It sounds to me like there is a chance he could pick USA, but I’ll put my money on Honduras.

  30. Goose says:

    Yeah, but he’s not “cap-tied” until he features for the senior team, or turns 21(?), I think.

    So in theory anyway, he could play for the Honduran U-20’s, and then switch to the US squad when he’s first plays in a USMNT match.

    U-20 teams are still considered “youth” teams I believe. It doesn’t matter which country he features for until he plays for the senior squad.

    Does that sound right? Anybody else know?

  31. Cleveland says:

    Do we have recruiters? I think our national team could learn something from college football. Start the recruiting process early.

  32. Ricky B. Free says:

    Regen didnt call Luis Gil and McInerney or Bowen to the milk cup, but called 4 college players. Sounds like the same stupid mistake over and over again. Fire that stupid coach.

  33. JeffM says:

    He’s listed at 5’7″, and having seen him play in person, that seems about right.

  34. dman says:

    Calling it now

    Next Fifa event to cap….Gold Cup 2011

    Both Honduras and USA will call him in, and it will be his coice

  35. mexicanbluefish says:

    jajajjjajaa eso estuvo chingón

    if it were a cat in the hat cap he´d surpass gooch

  36. one_2_three_5 says:

    Imagine Najar on the USMNT that went down to SPS last fall and clinched qualification. I don’t think he’d have been too popular.

  37. BlueWhiteLion says:

    not bad, Wispy, not bad! :)

  38. northzax says:

    since he’s not currently a US citizen, the US won’t be calling him in.

    to become a US citizen, the first thing is he has to turn 18. which won’t happen until next March. then the question becomes how long has he had his green card? (I have no idea, actually) if he’s had it for at least five years, he can start the application process. but no way is it done by Gold Cup, even if he wants that. it’s unlikely to be done by 2012 even.

  39. William the Terror says:

    or Wesley Schneider.

  40. JpJ says:

    Or Maradona, or Romario

  41. Jorge says:

    Take him down to McArthur Park in Los Angeles for his US citizenship. I know people who know people.

  42. William the Terror says:

    precedent exists to expedite the process. see the curious case of David Regis.

  43. Villain-from-Texas says:

    This is pretty close to the Rossi scenario in that Rossi moved to Italy at a young age (12, right?) and developed over there. Except that with Najar, we’re the equivalent of Italy, and Honduras is equivalent the United States. Everyone was and still is aggravated at Rossi for choosing Italy over the U.S., so we can all understand the thinking of Honduras fans.

  44. northzax says:

    no, actually, as I understand it, he would be cap tied to Honduras because he is only currently eligible (as far as I know) for Honduran citizenship. the whole non-cap tie thing applies to players who are eligible to play for two teams. Jermaine Jones, for instance, has always been eligible to play for the US, because he’s a natural born US citizen (teabagger complaints aside) whether or not he claimed it.

  45. Dre says:

    Ives, is the agent Chris Megaloudis the same as former metro player in camp Chris Megaloudis? Saw the name and got some flashbacks of Metro past. Was he ever on the roster? lol

  46. Barry U says:

    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!

  47. Jorge says:

    If he wants to play in the WC, his chances of doing so are greater if he chooses the US. Just saying.

  48. Matt C in tampa says:

    And his agent and family. Cap them all damn it!

  49. josh says:

    This is not the same stupid mistake. You have clearly not read the roster that was called in. Check into Gale Agbossoumonde and Omar Salgado before you accuse Rongen of pulling another Subotic. Lets wait to see if Rongen learned his lesson, I for one, believe he did.

    link to sports.espn.go.com

  50. Goose says:

    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?

  51. Ryan says:

    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 :)

  52. jake says:

    Not as popular as Johnny Bornstein!

  53. Wispy says:

    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.

  54. Barry U says:

    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!

  55. This Guy says:

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

  56. Kevin_Amold says:

    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?

  57. Neruda says:

    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.

  58. BooThisMan says:

    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.

  59. Glass says:

    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.

  60. Glass says:

    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.

  61. Glass says:

    Sorry for the double posting.

  62. Lost in Space says:

    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.

  63. K-Town says:

    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.

  64. K-Town says:

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

  65. John says:

    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.

  66. r.benjamin says:

    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.

  67. Micah King says:

    I saw online it said that he moved to USA when he was 13 so 18 that will be about five years. :)

  68. Four4Two says:

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

  69. Lee From NYC says:

    Word. Sounds like his agent has a sound plan for him.

  70. Brian says:

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

  71. moosecat says:

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

  72. Creige says:

    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.

  73. montana matt says:

    why?

  74. Mike says:

    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.

  75. Paul Thomas says:

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

    Jermaine Jones, on the other hand…

  76. Louis Z says:

    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.)

  77. Paul Thomas says:

    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.

  78. fooofoooo says:

    That was pre-9/11.

  79. BigLustyGirl says:

    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.

  80. BigLustyGirl says:

    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

  81. guwinster says:

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

  82. Brian says:

    Jermaine Jones lived in Chicago and Greenwood, MS for part of his childhood

  83. TimN says:

    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.

  84. Ben says:

    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.

  85. Ted Decker says:

    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!

  86. EdTheRed says:

    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).

  87. Dennis says:

    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.

  88. Dennis says:

    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.

  89. Murph says:

    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.

  90. dorito_420 says:

    … I think I saw that movie; Brad Pitt was excellent…