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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 12/21/2010

D.C. United signs Andy Najar to new contract, adds Pat Onstad to coaching staff

By Steve Goff

D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar, the MLS rookie of the year, has signed a new contract with the club. Neither United nor Najar's representative would disclose terms of the deal. He was already under a long-term contract but earned just $60,000 before bonuses this year. The sides had been discussing a new pact for several weeks and were expected to reach agreement before training camp opened next month.

"Andy had a brilliant rookie season and is the most exciting young player in the league," General Manager Dave Kasper said. "One of our top priorities this offseason was to agree to a new deal with Andy that would both reward him for his contributions and secure his future with D.C. United."

Najar, 17, had five goals in league play and seven overall in becoming the first United player since Coach Ben Olsen in 1998 to win rookie of the year honors.

Meantime, Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad, the older player in MLS history, has announced his retirement in order to join Olsen's coaching staff. He will oversee the goalie corps. Onstad's plans, and United's interest in him, were first reported by the Insider two weeks ago.

"He's a proven winner and will give us a fresh perspective on the game," Olsen said. Chad Ashton, who has been with the job in multiple roles for several years, is the other assistant. Plans for a third assistant were apparently impacted by budgetary issues.

Onstad, a Canadian national team veteran who will turn 43 next month, was twice named MLS goalkeeper of the year and won three league championships.

Two of this year's assistants, Mark Simpson and Kris Kelderman, are no longer with the club and pursuing other opportunities.

By Steve Goff  | December 21, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I can live with that :)

Posted by: DCB23 | December 21, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

So we can't afford assistant coaches now. Jesus.

Posted by: jerrinna | December 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I remember when another Canadian keeper coach was called upon to take the field for the Washington side at RFK in a league match . . . hopefully Onstad will stay sharp just in case

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/18/AR2009071802306.html

Posted by: OWNTF | December 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't sound good for the team's financial picture. I know Chang is reluctant to spend anything on this team, but I can't help feeling it's penny-wise and pound-foolish. Attendance is down over 30% from the boom times of a 1st place team in '07. Looking around at crowds, I wonder if the attendance numbers aren't really overstated. It's no wonder the team is so cash poor. It won't get any better, unless the team starts turning it around on the field and in the front office. They've got to get wins, and they've got to find a way to excite fans besides.

Posted by: fischy | December 21, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to blame Kasper and Payne for this!!!

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | December 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

this is exciting...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | December 21, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

OT. Does DC United have any sort of MLS rights regarding Joseph Gyau?

Posted by: OWNTF | December 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

how many assistant coaches do you really need? What do they all do?

Posted by: fedssocr | December 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

how many assistant coaches do you really need? What do they all do?

Posted by: fedssocr | December 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

========================================

Chad's Kasper's spy.

Re: the budget and no third assistant: You can thank the 3-year deal tendered by DK to Curt for that shortfall. Also, didn't I read that K-Dog was under contract for one more year? If so, then he's getting paid for 12 more months to eat cheese puffs (perfect setup for a Wisconsin native) and pull lint out of his belly button.

DCU is paying people not to work, and as a result hamstringing the new coach's ability to have a complete staff. For this masterstroke of planning, Kasper gets to keep his job.

Posted by: lgm6986 | December 21, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

DC needs at least one assistant coach for when Ben gets thrown out, another to harass the 4th official, and a third to make it look like there is a big coaching staff.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 21, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

88 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 21, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I volunteer my services to Team Olsen for the paltry sum of 45k per annum. I will instruct the team in fitness, the arts of gamesmanship (cheating without getting caught), and general badassery.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 21, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"Badassery?" Isn't that a Turkish soccer team?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 21, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"Badassery?" Isn't that a Turkish soccer team?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 21, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"Badassery?" Isn't that a Turkish soccer team?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 21, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

So we can't afford assistant coaches now. Jesus.

Posted by: jerrinna
-------------------------------------

That's the same thing that I was thinking. What are the chances of getting a stadium built if this team can't afford a three assistant coaches?

Sigh...

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 22, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

For those wondering why we need a third assistant besides the fact that all other MLS teams have that many, don't forget that the Reserve Division rises again from the primordial ooze in 2011. Having a third assistant makes managing both the senior and reserve team less challenging.

Posted by: lgm6986 | December 22, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

who knows? maybe Onstad is the de facto head coach in waiting (not for here, necessarily, but to earn some chops to move elsewhere) maybe he's going to be running the reserves?

I do like the vote of confidence in Ben that this shows from Onstad, however.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 22, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Mark Simpson quietly leaving is sad. Winning GK in the first MLS Cup, got so sick he almost LOST his leg, longtime coach. He's given a lot to the club and will be missed.

Posted by: JamesEReed | December 22, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mark Simpson quietly leaving is sad. Winning GK in the first MLS Cup, got so sick he almost LOST his leg, longtime coach. He's given a lot to the club and will be missed.

Posted by: JamesEReed | December 22, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The front office really needs to go. They obviously are completely oblivious of how a soccer team and business should be managed. As long as Kasper is around this team will not grow to it's full potential. Side note-- Josh Wolffe?! Do we really need another 30+ year old player? Don't we want players that can run more than 15 minutes a game, and that can grow at our club It hasn't been working out to well so far...


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WE ARE DCU---KEEP THE STADIUM & TEAM IN DC!!!

Posted by: alex000 | December 23, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

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