Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trials and tribulations that go with being a young pro

It is obviously challenging for a player to move from the youth ranks to the professional level, and where there are more examples of this happening now in Major League Soccer than ever before, there is certainly ups and downs with this process.

Steven Goff of the Washington Post writes of the challenges that young phenom Andy Najar is facing in his second season with DC United.

Andy Najar's second MLS season hasn't begun like his first. The Honduran-born midfielder came out of nowhere to win a starting job for D.C. United and eventually earn 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year honors.

He was in the news recently for his announcement that he'll represent Honduras, not the United States, where he only holds a green card. But talk of national team action now seems a little premature as Najar is on the bench at D.C. United. Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius and Branko Boskovic are all starting ahead of him.

“There is a lot of competition [for playing time in midfield] and my job is to just keep working hard to earn a spot,” said Najar, who started 22 of 30 matches in 2010. “Obviously, those are the coach’s decisions and all I can do is work hard.”

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