We sat down with D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar earlier this week, Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers Man ofthe Match for United's last two games. The 18-year-old Honduran scored his first goal of theseason last Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium. After having trouble finding his Rookie of the Year form at the beginning of the 2011 campaign, itseems that Najar has secured his place in Ben Olsen’steam. Thus far in 2011, Najar has appeared in 11 MLS matches (eight starts), totaling 785 minutes on the pitch.
How is the locker room this year?
I think the team is coming together pretty well, keeping inmind that we have many new and young faces. We are simply trying to do our bestto make the new guys feel comfortable with us so that they can work normally.
What is it like being part of one the youngest teams inMLS?
I feel very happy with the team and with the fact that wehave many young players, because I think that is very helpful for D.C. United’sfuture. So, we have to look forward and keep working.
You have a close relationship with D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. Howimportant is he to the team’s motivation and mindset?He motivates us very well. He is always there, giving usadvice and providing examples during practice. His influence has been veryimportant for all of us.
You were having trouble making the starting lineup atthe beginning of the year, but now it seems that you have secured your spot.What made this change possible?
Those were the coaches’ decisions. I simply kept workinghard, hoping that I would be a starter. It wasn’t working out at the beginning,but I kept working even harder until I achieved my goal of making the startingeleven. Now that I have the chance I need to take advantage of it and showeveryone why I’m here.
United's attack is very diverse this year - what is it like playing with offensive threats like Charlie Davies, Josh Wolff, and Chris Pontius?
I feel very comfortable playing with Charlie Davies and JoshWolff; they are two experienced players who know about the rhythm of the game.We understand each other pretty well, especially when we play ''one-two' passes. Ithink this has been the best combination so far.
The first half of the season is over. What are yourthoughts on your performance and the team’s performance so far?
We are okay. I think we are trying our best to get as manypoints as we can so that we are able to make the Playoffs. We are not too far awayfrom the Playoffs, so we just need to win the next few games. In terms of myperformance, I feel pretty good. I’m still working hard and giving everythingfor the team.
What are your goals for this year at a personal and teamlevel?
The team’s main goal is to get to the [MLS Cup] Final, and maybe winthe Cup. What I need to do is keep working hard and give my best for the team.If possible, I would like to score many goals to help the team reach thequarterfinals, the finals, or even the championship.