D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar will end months of speculation about his international soccer future at a news conference Tuesday at RFK Stadium, and barring a last-minute change of heart, he will commit to his native Honduras.
Najar, 18, has lived in the United States for four years, raising hopes that he would someday play for the American program. However, he is still several years from citizenship, which is required to represent a country in the international arena.
Najar, the 2010 MLS rookie of the year, could’ve waited for U.S. eligibility, but by choosing Honduras now, he has the opportunity to play for the Catrachos this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the regional championship. Depending on Honduras’ qualification success, he could also play in the Under-20 World Cup this summer in Colombia and the Olympics next year in London.
Because Honduras’ player pool is not as deep as the U.S. program’s, he will rise through the national system quicker and have a better chance of someday playing in a World Cup. Honduras qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, ending a 28-year wait.
Last week, the Insider outlined Najar’s situation and pointed to numerous reasons why he would ultimately choose to play for Honduras.
For Najar’s life story, read Washingtonian magazine’s terrific profile of him and his family.