There was just one bright spot in an absolutely dreadful D.C. United season: the play of young phenom Andy Najar. The 17-year-old was arguably the team's best player, scoring seven goals and notching two assists on a team that could barely score. He dazzled with spectacular plays and gave the team hope for the future.
For his efforts, Najar has been named MLS' Rookie of the Year, according to a D.C. United press release. The news is somewhat surprising, since most people figured the race would be between defender Tim Ream of the New York Red Bulls and forward Danny Mwanga of the Philadelphia Union, but Najar snuck in there to become the first MLS Rookie of the Year to emerge from a club academy.
Najar is the first D.C. United player to win the award since his coach, Ben Olsen, did back in 1998. He is also the first player to win the award on a last-place team since Maurice Edu did in 2007.
SB Nation's D.C. United blog Black and Red United made the case for Najar back on Oct. 20, saying Najar was a better story, a more versatile player and a guy with more upside than any of the other candidates.