If you followed my old site, you may have read my recent post about Honduras planning to call Andy Najar up to their U-23 team for Olympic qualifying, pending D.C. United's approval. This comes as a surprise to no one. However, Honduran national team coach Luis Fernando Suarez has announced more details about his plans for the run up to the qualification tournament, which begins Mar. 22. They include a friendly against Ecuador on Feb. 29 in Honduras, followed by the team traveling to the United States and training there until qualifying starts on Mar. 22. While in the United States, Suarez hopes to schedule friendlies against El Salvador, Canada, and possibly Cuba.
After the team arrives in the United States, Suarez wants to add three more players to his roster: Eddie Hernandez, on loan in Sweden; Anthony Lozano, who plays in the second division in Spain; and Andy Najar. His goal is to have these three players join his announced squad of 20 two weeks prior to the start of qualification. What does this mean for Ben Olsen and D.C. United? Follow me after the jump.
Two weeks prior to the start of Olympic qualifying means that Suarez would like to have Najar in camp on Mar. 8, two days before United’s opening game. My guess would be that United and Honduras would work out a deal where Najar would play in the March 10 opener against Sporting Kansas City, after which he would be released to join his national team. United’s second game is against the LA Galaxy, in Los Angeles; it just so happens that Honduras’ group for Olympic qualifying, Group B, will play all of their games in the Home Depot Center. Is it possible that Najar could train with Honduras all week and then rejoin United for that game? I don't know if that has ever happened before, but it seems unlikely. Or would Olsen take a harder line, keeping Andy until after the Galaxy match? Should Honduras fail to place first or second in their group, Najar would be back in time for United's second home game, Mar. 30 against FC Dallas; making the finals would cause him to miss that game, but no others.
Regardless, United have to give the same considerations to Najar that they will give to Perry Kitchen and Bill Hamid; all three are likely to be called up for Olympic qualifying and all three should be given the chance to go. As has already been discussed on this site, United have options when it comes to their wingers (and defensive midfielders, and goalkeepers). Olsen and the front office have known that this would happen for months now and have planned their drafts accordingly. But enough from me, what do you all think?