Andy Najar is in Belgium to stay. With one day remaining in the international transfer window, D.C. United announced on Tuesday that they've sealed the transfer of their Homegrown winger to reigning Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht.
Najar had been on loan with Les Mauves for the past month. D.C. did not announce the terms of the transfer, per club policy, but sources told MLSsoccer.com that the Honduran-born starlet signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Anderlecht.
“It has been very rewarding to watch Andy grow and develop into becoming the special player that he is,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a club statement. “This transfer is a testament to the hard work of our Academy staff, to Ben and his staff for their patience and vision, and to the MLS Homegrown Player initiative.
“We wish Andy all of the success in the world and we look forward to watching his career blossom. Looking ahead, we plan to focus on utilizing our resources and flexibility to continue to build our team.”
A native of Santa Cruz, Honduras, Najar and his family emigrated to Alexandria, Va., when he was 13. Spotting him on a high-school field, United scouts brought him into the club’s academy system and he progressed quickly, signing a Homegrown contract in 2010.
Boasting quickness, skill and a relentless work rate, the unheralded teenager burst onto the MLS scene that season, earning Rookie of the Year honors, and since then he has been a steady contributor for the Black-and-Red at right wing and right back. In 2011 he pledged his international allegiance to Honduras and was named to the roster that will face the US national team in next week’s World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.
While Najar’s departure is a major loss for United’s 2013 squad, his move also represents a major achievement for United’s youth academy and as a Homegrown player, a large chunk of the proceeds from his transfer will flow back to his hometown club.
“Andy is an extremely hard player to replace with our group but I'm excited for him and the opportunity he has in front of him,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “Watching Andy grow and develop as a player has been a very rewarding process for the club, our staff, and me personally, and we wish him the best in Europe."