Andy Najar is on his way back to MLS, joining LAFC prior to the league's return-to-play tournament in Orlando.
LAFC used its spot atop MLS's Allocation Order to sign Najar, who was subjected to the mechanism after returning to the league following a transfer that fetched a fee of over $500,000. LAFC had traded with Nashville SC for the spot in February.
The Honduran star broke out as a homegrown talent with D.C. United from 2010-2012 prior to being sold to Anderlecht in Belgium, where he spent the last seven years. In his time with Anderlecht, he scored 14 goals, had 16 assists and was also exposed to Europe's top stages, playing in the Champions League and Europa League. The 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year also appeared in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Najar's arrival in Los Angeles should not come as much of a surprise after he had been training with the club earlier this year while rehabilitating a long-term knee injury. At the time, LAFC claimed he was with the club solely to regain his fitness. His fit with LAFC is clear, though, after the club let right back Steven Beitashour leave to free agency in the winter. If fully fit, he can present a dynamic element to the position and allow Tristan Blackmon to shift centrally.
“Andy is a player that we have been monitoring for some time and we are delighted to officially welcome him to the Club,” LAFC general manager John Thorrington said in a statement. “His resume, both in MLS and in Europe, speaks for itself and we’re confident that his experience and versatility will only complement the group as we begin our return to play.”
With LAFC using its place atop the Allocation Order, Inter Miami slides up to the No. 1 spot. In addition to being used for players who have previously left MLS for a sizable fee, the mechanism is also used to distribute select U.S. national team and youth national team players.
Fabian Johnson, who is out of contract at the end of the Bundesliga season and has reportedly captured the interest of multiple MLS teams, would be subjected to it. The full list of select players can be seen here.
Najar will be eligible to join LAFC officially on July 1, upon the expiration of his contract with Anderlecht. Fitness and form pending, he'll be able to play for the club at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, which kicks off on July 8. LAFC has been grouped with the LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers in the World Cup-style competition that will restart the league's season.