D.C. United announced on Monday that Andy Najar, the talented Honduran midfielder who played a vital role in the team’s return to the postseason in 2012, will spend the month of January on loan with reigning Belgian champions Anderlecht.
Najar joined Anderlecht for a training stint in December, and joins former Chivas USA star Sasha Kljestan at the capital club.
“This is another very good opportunity for Andy to gain valuable experience with a top European club,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. “We look forward to his return for the second half of our preseason.”
Najar, 19, appeared in 25 regular-season matches in 2012 and notched four assists. The converted right back is a product of D.C. United’s Youth Academy, and became the second Homegrown player to sign with the first team on March 22, 2010.
That year, he went on to win the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year award, as well as being named the 2010 D.C. United Volkswagen MVP. Najar has tallied 10 goals and 11 assists in the 82 MLS matches (72 starts) in which he has featured.
Najar has also made three appearances with the senior Honduras national team and seven for the U-23s, including a run in the 2012 London Olympics in which the squad advanced to the quarterfinals.
Anderlecht won their 31st Belgian First Division crown during the 2011-12 season before they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in December.