Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE
We say goodbye to the first MLS homegrown player to be sold overseas, and he says goodbye to us.
Well, it's official: Andy Najar is wearing the purple of RSC Anderlecht on a permanent basis. D.C. United announced this afternoon that the Honduran has been sold from one capital club to another. As per tradition (and league policy), details of the deal have not been disclosed, but I imagine we'll hear rumors and reports trickling out soon enough.
(INSTANT UPDATE: Steve Goff is reporting that a source with "direct knowledge" of the deal has pegged the fee at $3 million.)
For now, be sure to read Andy's open letter to fans of the Black-and-Red, which we've reproduced below.
I leave D.C. United after many special years. I would like to thank everyone connected to the club for everything that has been done to help me and my family since I joined the academy years ago. The staff at D.C. United has done more than I could have ever asked to get me to this point in my career, and it is with great pride that I tell people D.C. United made me the man I am today. I must thank Dave Kasper, Will Chang, Jason Levien and Erick Thohir for understanding my childhood dream to play in Europe. A special thanks to my coach Ben Olsen and all of his staff. I came to D.C. United and chose #14 because I wanted to follow in his footsteps. He has been a great coach and more importantly an excellent role model for me to learn from. My teammates have cared for me like a little brother during this journey and I wouldn't have been blessed with this chance without their hard work. Most importantly, I would like to thank the fans of the Club. From day one when I signed as a young man, they have supported me in tough moments and enjoyed the good times with me. I wish the club the best in the years to come and hope to be able to play in front of you all one day in the future.
May god bless you all,
Let's use the comments on this post to share our favorite Andy Najar plays and memories from his too-short time with the club. Mine definitely won't be his last on-field action with United - tossing the ball at the referee and earning a second yellow card in as many seconds during a playoff game. In serious, my favorite Andy moment is probably that ridiculous coast-to-coast run to equalize in Philadelphia during the 2011 season; Bill Hamid (another homegrown player who should be transferring to Europe sooner than later) released Najar with a rolled ball from his own box, and Andy just carried it down the field, used a Dwayne De Rosario decoy run to create some space, and beat the keeper from inside the box. Beautiful stuff.
Here's hoping Andy creates a lot more like it over in Europe.