Former D.C. United Academy player and homegrown product Andy Najar scored Wednesday for Belgian side Anderlecht against English powerhouse Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League.
The 21-year-old Honduran scored his side’s opening goal in what appears to be a the next step in a promising career for the former D.C. United player. After signing a Generation Adidas contract with DCU in 2010, he had a fantastic debut season with the Eastern Conference side, winning Rookie of the Year honors—very impressive for a 17-year-old.
He would move on to his current club Anderlecht in January of 2013, initially on loan, then signing for a reported fee of $3 million.
A goal against a club like Arsenal in the biggest club tournament is the kind of thing that turns heads and is a glowing endorsement of MLS’s ability to develop talent.
The age of the homegrown player is dawning, and the ins-and-outs of what that means exactly for MLS and Orlando City in particular has been drawn out wonderfully, here, by our own Andrew Marcinko. Najar’s success in Europe has to give confidence to young Orlando City talent, specifically Tyler Turner and Tommy Redding. If they continue to develop and grow in MLS there is reason to believe could compete at the highest level around the world.
But first let’s have them shine for Orlando City in MLS!