Najar playing for D.C. United in 2011
|Full name||Andy Ariel Najar Rodríguez|
|Date of birth||16 March 1993|
|Place of birth||Choluteca, Honduras|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 December 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Andy Ariel Najar Rodríguez (Spanish pronunciation: [naˈxar] na-HAR; born 16 March 1993) is a Honduran footballer who plays for Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht and the Honduras National Football Team.
Najar moved with his family from Honduras to Virginia at the age of thirteen. Najar attended Edison High School in Alexandria, Virginia and joined D.C. United's youth academy in 2008. During his time with the academy program Najar received numerous awards and honours for his outstanding play at right back. He was named to the USSF Development Academy Starting XI in 2009 and was the leading scorer in the US Developmental Academy Finals in Los Angeles in 2009.
Najar signed a professional Generation Adidas contract with D.C. United on 22 March 2010. Once part of MLS, the league and his team became responsible for his education. He was the second player to sign with the first team directly from United's Academy, after goalkeeper Bill Hamid who signed with the first team in September 2009.
Najar made his professional debut on 27 March 2010, in DC's opening game of the 2010 MLS season against the Kansas City Wizards, and scored his first professional goal on 28 April 2010 in a US Open Cup game against FC Dallas. Najar was voted MLS Rookie of the Year for the 2010 season, ahead of Tim Ream and Danny Mwanga.
Najar was considered by pundits such as Soccer America's Paul Gardner to be one of DC United top players already, at the young age of 17. He received interest from European clubs, according to his agent, and was expected to move his services there later in his career, possibly as soon as the end of the 2010 season. However, it was announced in December 2010 that Najar had signed a multi-year contract with D.C. United.
Najar was the only player from the D.C. United's Academy to be called up to compete in the 2012 Olympics.
On 7 January 2013, Najar moved to Belgian Pro League champions Anderlecht on a one-month loan. On 30 January 2013, Anderlecht finalised the full transfer of Najar. He made his debut against Cercle Brugge on 2 August 2013. The reported transfer fee was $3 million.
On 22 October 2014, Najar opened the scoring for Anderlecht in the second-half of their Champions League match against Arsenal but two late goals for the English side ensured a 1−2 defeat for the Belgian champions.
On 6 April 2011 Najar formally announced that he would play for the Honduran national team, choosing his birth nation rather than wait to be eligible to represent the United States, where had yet to receive citizenship. He made his first appearance for Honduras on 3 September 2011, against Colombia entering in the 67th minute.
Najar was called up to compete for the Honduras national under-23 football team in the 2012 Olympics. Najar on his opportunity to compete in the 2012 Olympics "I can only thank God for this" Najar said in a Spanish language interview Thursday. "I'll be representing not only my country, but my family as well. The Olympics are a dream for every player and I get the chance to live it."
On 21 July 2013 Najar scored his first international goal for Honduras in the knockout stages of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup vs Costa Rica. Najar's game-winner in the 1–0 victory saw Honduras advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
- Scores and results list Honduras's goal tally first.
|1.||24 July 2013||M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, USA||Costa Rica||1–0||1–0||2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
- As of 15 December 2014
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 19. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Andy Najar signs with first team," D.C. United press release, Monday, March 22, 2010.
- DC United Signs 17-Year-Old Honduran Andy Najar from Youth System
- CBC News http://stats.cbc.ca/mls/boxscore.asp?gamecode=2010032706&season=2010-1
|url=missing title (help).
- United get the better of Dallas
- Simon Borg (3 November 2010). "Teen phenom Najar takes MLS Rookie of the Year". Major League Soccer.
- Steven Goff (3 November 2010). "D.C. United's Andy Najar is MLS rookie of year". The Washington Post.
- Travis Clark (21 December 2010). "DC sign top rookie Najar to multi-year deal". The Washington Post.
- Salazar, Sebastian. "Najar's call-up a source of pride around club". DC United. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/DC-United-loans-Andy-Najar-to-Anderlecht-4172450.php
|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
- "Soccer Insider". The Washington Post.
- "Arsene Wenger celebrated his 65th birthday with a vital Champions League win as Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to beat Anderlecht.". BBC Sport. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Andy Najar to represent Honduras
- "D.C. United International Round-Up: Andy Najar Debuts For Honduras". Black and Red United. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- Salazar, Sebastian. "Najar's call-up a source of pride around club". DC United.
I can only thank God for this," Najar said in a Spanish language interview Thursday. "I'll be representing not only my country, but my family as well. The Olympics are a dream for every player and I get the chance to live it.
- "Gold Cup: Andy Najar nets first int'l goal as Honduras top Costa Rica to book semi with USMNT". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- Andy Najar profile at Soccerway
- "Honduras - A. Najar - Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "D.C. United's Andy Najar named MLS rookie of the year". Washington Post. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2014.