Andy Najar is one of MLS' true homegrown player success stories, and the 21-year-old Honduran's recent success on the club level in Belgium has resulted in further stability abroad for the foreseeable future.
Najar extended his contract with Belgian power Anderlecht through 2018 on Tuesday, the club announced via its official website. Najar, who teams with U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan at Anderlecht, has become a fixture in the club's starting lineup this season after spending time both hurt and getting acclimated following his transfer from D.C. United on Jan. 30, 2013.
Najar, the winger who is in position to go to the World Cup with Honduras, has scored two goals this season, and he was the Anderlecht supporters' Player of the Month in March. After rising through the D.C. United academy and debuting as a 17-year-old, he won the MLS Rookie of the Year award in 2010, dazzling fans and opponents with his agility, speed and flair. Overall, he scored 10 goals and had 11 assists in 82 MLS games before making his move. His younger brother, Cristhyan, plays for D.C. United's U-18 academy team.
Internationally, Najar played in five games for Honduras during the CONCACAF Hexagonal and scored his first career international goal for Honduras against Costa Rica during the 2013 Gold Cup quarterfinals at a game played in Baltimore, just a short drive north on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from where his family resides in the D.C. area. Should he go to the World Cup with Los Catrachos this summer, he'll have the chance to face Switzerland, Ecuador and France in Group E.