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Hejduk called into USMNT camp

Frankie Hejduk 1 ( 

Columbus Crew defender Frankie Hejduk has been called into U.S. national team training camp. Hejduk replaces injured midfielder Clint Dempsey, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Hejduk will join the team on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to train on Wednesday with the rest of the 22-player group as it prepares for upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Honduras (Saturday) and vs. Costa Rica (Oct. 14).

Hejduk's call-up doesn't mean Dempsey will not play vs. Costa Rica. Dempsey's availability for the Costa Rica qualifier has yet to be determined.

What do you think of Hejduk's call-up? Glad to see him back in the mix? Think he's the type of veteran the team needs in Honduras?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Right now in a pressure situation, Hejduk is probably a better choice than Bornstein. Except for that awful missed clearance by B. he has not done all that badly. He does, however need more strength to be a good defender. Defenders most often get castigated when they make one mistake or fail to track back soon enough.
    The real questions are which 4 backs have the concentration, discipline and maturity to cover for each other and can the mids be relied upon to help out?
    None of our backs is perfect;

    Bocanegra is a bit slow, but he has shown over many games that he can focus on the task well.

    Hejduk gets caught going forward, it is only his hustle getting back that mostly keeps it from being noticed.

    Onweyu is more physically talented and defends like a tiger, but his talent going forward is a bit light (except for set plays).

    Cherundolo is, like Bocanegra, disciplined, savvy, but sometimes found to be at the mercy of a very fast attacker.

    Spector physically has the tools, sometimes he loses concentration and gets caught out (this seems to happen with West Ham more than with the nats, but it is a concern).

    Bornstein grew up as an attacker, only when he went to Chivas did he become a L.B. it might not be his best position, he naturally wants to go forward and he lacks the strength to muscle a big strong winger, still he has quickness and he generally connects with more passes than not ( he had the highest pass completion of the starters vs T&T and was as about as good as the other backs(except Boca) and better than the forwards vs El S. and he made more passes than the other backs, so he saw more of the ball.) I thought he recovered well vs T&T after that howler vs El S. He probably will improve with a bit more maturity and a chance to routinely face better attackers.

    Conrad is solid, disciplined and a bit slow with not glaring weakness on defense, but not much help going forward.

    Goodson, I thought, was an unexpected bright spot from the Gold Cup, he is tall, perhaps a bit slender, heads well, tracks forwards reliably and made solid tackles when needed I would not rule him out as a candidate at CB if Gooch or Boca cannot go or is needed at L.B.

  2. Everyone commenting here is probably a fat soccer fan. Hejduk is the most physically fit outside back in the U.S. Although he’s pushing up there in age, the reason he can keep playing at a high level is he has amazing endurance and stamina all from heavy fitness training. I say why not since our outside defensive line seems to be the weakest link on the team.

  3. given that castillo is injured, this works for me. how can anyone not like hejduk?!?! haha the question is, do we put Boca back on the left, goodson in the mid with gooch, and Dolo on the right? Given that Spector can’t get on the field (i know, i know, gooch cant either but we need him still). Or do we put Hejduk on the left and move Boca in the middle with Gooch?

    if anything, he’ll be good to have in the locker room and on the bench encouraging his team. need those bob marley quotes on the white board before the game!

  4. Frankie is a good choice to help sure up qualification. hes definetly an experienced defender and acctually makes most of the nationl team look lazy in comparison to him when he plays. and hes the elder statesmen of this squad! He makes good runs tho his crosses sometimes lack, but hes a good replacement for dempsy (who is my face america player tho he has been slumming latley). But we need to definetly find some one that can bring the same intensity to the field that Frankie does. Im not worried about these qualifiers but i really hope they dont plan to use him in the WC next summer.

  5. I love how this old guy who really can’t play soccer, but has just hung onto this dream like Ahab after a whale just refuses to get out of the picture.


  6. Right mid is not that different from right back. A lot of wingers don’t have the defensive ability to play right back (A certain Portugese player comes to mind), but defensive ability never hurts a midfielder. Plus, I really think Dolo can handle it. He’s good on the ball, and he has good composure.

    And, considering the number of times that the US is going to gift possession to Honduras, having another ball-winner on the field isn’t the worst idea.

    Furthermore Hejduk won’t have as much defensive responsibility with Dolo playing in front of him, and it’s not like he’s unfit or out of form.

  7. For everyone hating on Frankie coming in, what would be your other option?

    We’re thin on the outside backs, and they have YC issues. Frankie provides a defensive mid-wing option if we’re up late in the game and need a defensive push.

    Keep in mind Honduras is very humid and hot….very possible that may take a toll on the team

  8. Posted by: KungFuKantona…
    simply stated: he’s not now, or ever has been, good enough technically to be a national team player.

    You haven’t been paying attention. Hejduk was one of the keys to the U.S. performance in Korea in 2002.

  9. oh lord.

    if i got called into camp i would bust my balls like no one’s business, but that doesn’t mean i should be there at the expense of some future prospect.

    F. Hey-i-suck has been a longstanding liability for the nats for over a decade. running about with passion is swell, but getting your board shorts shredded by ANY half-talented winger is not okay at this juncture.

    simply stated: he’s not now, or ever has been, good enough technically to be a national team player.

  10. Heydude being called into camp means just that… he is in camp. While I appreciate the man’s passion and willingness to die for his country’s shirt as much as everyone else, he isn’t guaranteed a thing.

    The above being said, I think that Heydude being a known commodity will help out, especially in an environment as hostile as Honduras. He has been here before, the atmosphere won’t phase him and he will provide a steady defensive (if not offensive) presence on whichever flank he lines up on. I feel extremely confident in saying that he would not make the same defensive error that Bornstein made against El Salvador in Utah, by botching a basic clearance which led to a goal.

  11. Spector > HeyDuck
    Bornstein = Dolo = HeyDuck

    ya with injuries to Demerit i can see this as a last result.

    quality > quantity
    i say screw it, let’s go 3-5-2!

    why put an extra defender who is dead weight when we have better mids on the bench?

  12. I love the Frankie call-up. He should have been on the squad from the get-go.

    1) Experience in tough environments. Seasoned vet provides passion this team sometimes lacks. See: @El Salvador. 1 assist (that’s right, a cross!), and pushing Jozy out of the way for the tying header.

    2) Versatility. Can play either side.

    3) Dependability. Can someone name the last time Hejduk let us down wearing a USMNT uniform? How about Bornstein? Enough said.

    4) “No team with serious WC aspirations” can have Frankie on it? Geez, you must have missed 2002 with our run to the QF, and almost the SF, with Frankie playing an awful lot of LB.

    5) Depth. Cherundolo is on a yellow. So is Boca. Our CB depth is thin with Demerit and Marshall out. The prospect of a Spector/Bornstein pairing should send shivers down our spines in a possible must win game. With Boca in the middle (or suspended) we could be down to two OB’s for CR. Makes sense.

    6) He’s better than Bornstein right now. Does anyone doubt it? I’d start Frankie at LB. Or we could go Dolo/Spector, and then Frankie/Spector if we need it.

    Basically, I’m in favor of any combination that keeps Bornstein off the field. Especially on the road.

  13. Frankie will be fine, would not mind even seeing him on the field. He has speed and experience. He can get forward. He can play both sides. His touch in the final third is no worse than any of are other outside backs. I would prefer him over Bornstein any day.

  14. “Ching and Hejduk are on the team, because they are damn good players, and are the best the US has. It’s quite telling how many of you are complaining that we need players with more skill and upside, but fail to come up with any examples.”

    What on earth am I reading? I can think of two forwards and two right backs in our player pool with more skill and upside: the starters Altidore, Davies, Spector and Steve Cherundolo. Seriously? Not to knock Ching and Frankie, as they are good squad players and valuable vets, but it is the lack of goals from Ching and the bad first touch of Frankie that has some fans more partial to other players. Chill out.

    “I really don’t think it would be a bad idea to actually play Hejduk at right back and move Cherundolo up to right mid. In an important away game, you want experience and defensive ability, and as much as I think Holden is great, I trust Dolo more.”

    Cherundolo has never started a game for us in the RM position (as far as I know) and you want to move him there in an all important qualifier and start a defensive player that hasn’t been in the team since before the Confederation’s Cup? Mad, bro. Start Dolo and Spector at the back positions and replace dempsey (injury) with holden for the match. It makes the most sense…

    Sergio good post.

    This one however…

    “Why do some want Castillo called up so badly. A fast attack minded left back that admits he needs to get better at playing defense. He sounds a lot like Beasley to me.”

    what are you on about man? Nothing alike. Beasley is no longer even effective in attack. Castillo did not state he was a bad defender either, just that his defense isn’t as strong as his offense.

    I have to smile. For all of those constantly ranting on Dempsey’s lack of hustle, decisions, etc… May I present you with the Anti-Dempsey, Frankie Hedjuk.”

    see above comment about how passion is manifested differently. this is out of hand, these comments.

  15. I’d rather have Hejduk tearing up and down the flank than Bornstein misplaying clearances. Frankie is pure courage, and just what the squad needs for this tough road game.

  16. Darius, your post was not pompous in the least. Not sure what smokeminside is, um, smoking, but he has very little idea of what he’s talking about.

    Calling up Frankie is a great move. He brings in so many intangibles to the locker room that help push this team. We could really have used his spirit in Costa Rica and at Azteca. These last two matches are when you need heart and passion and fighting spirit, moreso than guys who may be more skillful but simply don’t get it done (see Quaranta, Szetela…).

  17. DJS said it well. Frankie is not just effort and heart, he is a darn good soccer player who has played well in many road qualifiers. Who cares how old he is? Until he shows he can’t do it anymore I am happy he is in the squad.

  18. I’m glad they called Frankie. Not that they would need him in the lineup with the likes of Cherundolo and Spector around. But I think calling veterans into camp is a good idea. Why not? He can show the youngsters a thing or two.

  19. In a very important qualifier in Honduras we need a veteran who can push his teammates to excel. This is no time for experiments. Frankie usually plays his best when the situation is dire. Good call.

  20. I really don’t think it would be a bad idea to actually play Hejduk at right back and move Cherundolo up to right mid. In an important away game, you want experience and defensive ability, and as much as I think Holden is great, I trust Dolo more.

    But yeah, if you’re going to bring in a guy just to train with the team, Hejduk is the one who will make his teammates work the most.

  21. I think it’s a great call. Intensity, leadership and PACE – even for his age. He can play the right or left side (and has in big games) and he’s come up big in a couple of recent big games prior to his injury. For as poor as I’ve always thought his touch is – he brings some swagger. I have no problem with him starting on the left side in the next two matches.

    And if you’re defending a lead and you need an energy sub on defense – he’s a welcome addition! USA!!!

  22. Get ready for lots of stalled attacks on the right flank (or whichever side Hejduk is on).

    I’m all for effort and dogged determination, but I’ll take a guy who might jog a bit but provides moments of quality over a guy who is always losing the ball but is trying really hard to get it back.

    (SBI-He was called into camp. This doesn’t mean he’s even going to dress, let alone start.)

  23. thanks EA, still kinda amazed. r. benjamin i’m not trying to be so negative about Shea, it was nice to see a US player with the confidence to take players on but i think even you will admit it was a little surprising to see him get european interest right after what most considered a disappointing run. i wish all the best for him and the rest of the USMNT and prospective players. also, anyone hear of any other US players’ potential moves across the water?

  24. Well this has to be about the only scenario where I agree that Heyduk is the right choice.. Too bad Castillo is hurt. Good to have a veteran to yell at the kids.
    Many of you bagged on Shea.. Not saying he’s world class but he looked the most sturdy/mature..and out on the wing is not his position. He could be useful target man.

  25. @ahm

    Do a Google News Search for “Fulham Brek Shea”

    There’s about a dozen articles, the most reputable of which is The Guardian.

    Might want to take the news with a grain (or shovel) of salt, but it’s out there.

  26. I wonder if Bradley wants to play him and Landon on the same flank. They both have a ridiculous amount of endurance and the threat of these guys for 90 minutes is pretty good. Add to the fact that they have a very good chemistry and we’ve got ourselves a nice chance.

  27. Energy and Passion doooo make up for Talent and Skill,

    great example


    Could be one of the best, but is the laziest player i have ever seeeeen, so Energy and Passion do count for sumthing

  28. Hey austin do you have a link to the report of the Fulham- Brek shea bid? Not challenging you, just want to read it because quite honestly it’s just dumbfounding. It’d obviously be good to get a young US over seas to develop but I mean 3.12 million? We have people who can’t get a team when they don’t cost a penny (Sheannon WIlliams) so it’s amazing anyone would value Shea that much. Thanks

  29. Why do some want Castillo called up so badly. A fast attack minded left back that admits he needs to get better at playing defense. He sounds a lot like Beasley to me.

  30. Frankie is all heart, effort and caffeine. So happy that he will be there to ensure the Nats give the effort needed to finish the job.

  31. I say Frankie should start with Dolo as the outside backs. Their experience will help playing in Honduras. I would start Spector over Frankie when we play at RFK.

    It also doesn’t hurt that Frankie scored a few months ago in ES.

  32. there’s no substitute for effort. on the pitch or off, you’ll never question Frankie’s.

    Posted by: brant | October 06, 2009 at 04:16 PM


    Can’t argue with that. I never thought I would be okay with Frankie, but his energy, Bob Marley quotes, effort, and tenacity are needed on any team. Yea, he isn’t the best crosser of the ball, but he will out-work his man for 90 minutes. Hope he subs in at the 60 minute mark and provides a spark and/or stability.

  33. I don’t know what to make of this at all. He certainly won’t replace Dempsey but it can only mean BB isn’t happy with his other right D options? Is this the end of Dolo? or Spector?

    Another strange BB move

  34. Did we forget what passion Frankie shows? I think he should have been on the roster before others to be unnamed. He shows passion, and fight, something no other player shows on the team.

  35. Aargh. Let’s bring back Cobi Jones while were at it, if we need this veteran leadership. Isn’t that supposed to be what the captain is for?

  36. Good play by Bob! Hejduk is what this team needs going into a less than favorable situation in Honduras. I am just as impatient when it comes to seeing Castillo, Torres, Jones and other US-Internationals in the US lineup. But right now we got to come together and win; nothing else..

    plus i have respect for anyone who starts each day with a quad-shot of espresso

  37. Isn’t the photo the one that shows Hejduk celebrating SCORING THE GAME-TYING GOAL at El Salvador? The result that gives us the only breathing room we have in the group?

    How can anybody question his presence on the roster?

  38. Castillo has been injured since before Bradley named his squad. I can think of no other defender who has had the opportunity to actually play with the like starters and who is oresently healthy whom I would choose over Hedjuk. Wynne is probably faster, but he makes Hedjuk look downright skillful and the last time I saw him, he was still making mental errors by taking too many risks that the Hondurans would punish. Edu might be an interesting choice, but with the YC troubles in back and his relative inexperience as a back in pressure situations, it might be more interesting than any of us might like. Orosco Has been in camp (in 2008) and did play 3 games in the 2008 Olympics, but he is still young (like Bornstein and Spector), probably not the best choice for introduction into the squad in a pressure-packed situation.

    Going forward, I expect Orosco, Castillo, Jones and others will get a chance to be in nat. training camps and fiendlies; we will see if they can impress Bradley and his staff when up close and personal and if their personalities and tendencies fit with the rest of the squad.

    Without a single real star (save perhaps Howard; Dempsey and Donavon could play well for a lot of teams, but they are not real international stars), the US has managed to snatch some impressive results. No premier league or Serie A team is holding their breath waiting to see if any USMNT player, or any US prospect, will accept its offer. The coach must not be a total idiot!


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