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Najar Named MLS Rookie of the Year

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D.C. United’s Andy Najar (above) was named Major League Soccer’s 2010 Rookie of the Year, edging out New York defender Tim Ream and Philadelphia forward Danny Mwanga.

the 17-year-old earned the award earlier this Wednesday and became D.C. United’s second player to receive the honor. Ben Olsen, D.C. United’s interim coach, received the award during his 1998 rookie season.

At 17, Najar is the youngest player to receive the award and the first attacking player to earn it since Clint Dempsey did in 2004. Furthermore, it is only the second time that the award has been issued to a player coming from a last place team. Maurice Edu of Toronto FC was the first in 2007.

In another first, Najar is the only player to receive the award after rising from the youth levels of any MLS Club. Najar, who played 26 League games (starting 22) become a first team regular in less than a year and has been remarkable. He became the tenth youngest player to start an MLS match in D.C.’s 2010 season opener in Kansas City  and since that day he has not looked back.

Najar was also United’s top scorer with 5 goals. In additon to the MLS honors, Najar was also awarded various team awards including Volkswagen Most Valuable Player, the 2010 D.C. United Golden Boot, the Volkswagen Fans’ Choice, and the Volkswagen Goal of the Year.

Najar scored seven goals in all competitions, while contributing two assists on the year (five MLS goals and one League assist). United signed the Youth Academy star to a Generation adidas contract on March 22, making him the second player to sign with the senior squad directly from United’s Academy.