Najar left off Honduras roster for Gold Cup
WASHINGTON — When Andy Najar declared his intentions to represent his native Honduras earlier in the year, it seemed inevitable that he would be a part of the nation’s CONCACAF Gold Cup roster this summer.
But when the roster came out late Friday afternoon, his name wasn’t on it, as the Honduran FA communicated to D.C. United the day before.
“They sent an email basically saying that they decided that the coach doesn’t know Andy that much and is not confident calling him in at this time, and they’ll call him in at a future time,” DC general manager Dave Kasper told reporters Friday.
The Honduran FA made its intentions known to D.C. United to call up Najar when it named him to a preliminary Gold Cup a few weeks ago. The roster would also possibly include a May 27 friendly against El Salvador.
And that’s where things got tricky.
“When they sent the call up, we responded immediately the same day with a phone conversation, with a letter,” Kasper said.
According to Kasper, United then sent in a request to keep the 18-year-old for the May 29 game against Portland, and if possible, for the June 3 game in Los Angeles. Kasper made it clear that this was a request they communicated, in writing, to the Honduran FA, with the intention of working out a compromise.
“We want Andy to succeed on the international level, and we didn’t feel our request was out of line,” Kasper said. “They can have Andy May 26 if they want him.”
However, Kasper said there was no response from the Honduran FA to D.C. United’s request, until the email Thursday night informing them Najar wouldn’t be called up.
The Honduras federation, on the other hand, has accused DC of not responding to the initial request.
End result, Najar won’t be suiting up quite yet, and will have to wait and make his international debut after next month's Gold Cup.
“I'll keep working hard with D.C. Good luck to Honduras in the Gold Cup,” Najar wrote in Spanish on his Twitter account.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.