Najar, Honduras reach Olympic quarterfinals

United midfielder is getting noticed

D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar is playing well at theLondon Olympics, and the international media is taking note.

Early Wednesday, hours before Najar and his Honduranteammates secured passage to the quarterfinal round with a scoreless drawagainst Japan, multiple reports surfaced linking the product of United’sacademy to the English Premier League. 

First, this piece from TribalFootball.com claims that Najaris drawing interest from neighboring rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, along withNewcastle.  Honduras’ historicupset over Spain took place at Newcastle’s St. James Park, as will the Catrachos’impending quarterfinal showdown with Brazil.

Another report suggests that interest in the 19-year-old hasspread well beyond North London and Newcastle.  Sky Sports speculates that Wigan, Norwich City and WestBromwich Albion are all keenly observing D.C.’s young star. 

At this rate, the entire EPL could be linked to Najar bythe time he features for Honduras against Neymar and company on Saturdayafternoon.

Asked about the rumor mill by the Honduran press, the skillful winger answered in his typically humble fashion.

"Being with the team and making a name for yourself in theseOlympics is undoubtedly a great showcase for all the players," said Najar,choosing to make his response about the entire Honduran squad rather thanhimself. "All you can do is playwell."

A starter in all three matches, Najar has played well - anddone so thanks to a special inspiration.

"I know that people from [around Choluteca] are watching meand that motivates me more," Najar told La Tribuna, referencing his native cityin Southern Honduras.  "Iappreciate everyone and today I will dedicate this game to my belovedgrandmother, Maria Consuelo Espinal, I know she always watches when I play."

On Tuesday, United head coach Ben Olsen confirmed that he too is keeping a close eye on Najar's Olympic progress.  While Olsen admitted that 'it would be nice to have [Najar] here', D.C.'s second-year coach also said he hopes Honduras 'goes as far as they can'.

"I think he has played fine," Olsen told reporters.  "I don't know the inner workings of that group and what the coach is telling him, but obviously he is doing pretty well right now."