Andy Najar, D.C. United’s young right-sided star, is on trial at Jupiler League giant Anderlecht, according to reports out of Belgium.
Belgian outlet 7Sur7 is reporting that the 19-year-old Honduran is on a week-long trial with John van den Brom’s club, the team having an option to keep D.C.’s first choice right back through the end of the season. That timeframe would see Najar in Belgium for the start of the Major League Soccer season.
D.C. United has yet to confirm or acknowledge the news (see here and here), while MLSSoccer.com only includes the news as a series of links. Perhaps that’s consistent with this being a trial as opposed to a loan (loans was usually announced and acknowledged), but it’s also consistent with a report that needs a little more backing.
In three MLS seasons, Najar has 10 goals and 11 assists, numbers bolstered by two years at right wing. Playing mostly in defense during the 2012 season, Najar had 0 goals and 4 assists, finishing the season suspended after throwing a ball at the referee during the open leg of D.C.’s conference semifinal against the New York Red Bulls.
The Belgian league, and Anderlecht in particular, would be a perfect spot for Najar, and not only because one American (Sacha Kljestan) already calls the club home (Najar grew up in the United States). The style of play is conducive to a 19-year-old skill player’s development, and while competition for playing time at Anderlecht will be tough, the club is always in Champions or Europa League. There’ll be no shortage of games in which Najar could make a possible appearance.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
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No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday