Danny Mwanga and Andy Najar have exceeded expectations as rookies.
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PBPP: MLS, Possibly USMNT Future on Display

One of the side stories to Sunday’s Union game at RFK is that we will see two MLS rising stars on display, Danny Mwanga and Andy Najar. While they play for different club teams, one has to wonder if within a few years they might be playing for the same country.

I don’t want to rush anything, as I think too many people are quick to say that a player belongs on the national team, but it’s surely not far-fetched to see these two teenagers someday wearing USA colors.

Both players, by place of birth, will have a choice of country to play for. Mwanga can play for the Democratic Republic of the Congo while Najar can suit up for Honduras. With the proper paperwork though, each can be eligible to play for the U.S. if they so choose.

These are two dynamic players, still learning the game. I think they are the kind of offensive players our national team is searching for. So here’s hoping these two young talents continue to improve their game, and when the time comes, choose to play in the red, white, and blue.

Other things to note on Sunday:

  • Fred’s return to RFK stadium where he played for the past three seasons.
  • Manager Peter Nowak’s return to DC where he won the 2004 MLS Cup in his first season behind the bench. He will go up against Ben Olsen, now DC’s interim Head Coach. Olsen played three years under Nowak at DC United.
  • Philadelphia is still looking for their first shutout of the season.
  • While they surely can’t take DC United for granted, especially under a new head coach, the fact remains that DC has struggled more than anyone on the offensive side. The club has been shutout 13 times in 20 games. During their winless streak of eight games, they have just three goals scored. To put it another way, Sebastien Le Toux and Mwanga have scored three goals more (16) than the entire DC United team.
  • Under Ben Olsen, I would expect a fiery and hungry team to come out on Sunday. That’s the way Ben came out as a player, and I believe that’s the style he’ll bring to his team behind the bench.

Enjoy the game.


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