BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, April 19, 2012
Former US international Frankie Hejduk officially announced his retirement from soccer today and accepted a job offer to work in the front office for the Columbus Crew.
Hejduk, 37, was capped 85 times by the US national team and was a veteran of the 1998 World Cup team and 2002 World Cup team that advanced to the quarterfinals. His play at left back that year made him one of the best Americans to ever play that position in a major tournament.
Hejduk played in the initial season in MLS with the Tampa Bay Munity but would leave for German in 1998 when he signed with Bayer Leverkusen. At the end of the 1998/1999 season, Hedjuk started most of the games at the end of the season to help the club to a second place finish and a spot in the Champions League.
In 2003, Hejduk returned to MLS where he enjoyed eight strong years with the Columbus Crew. In the 2008 MLS Cup, Hejduk scored on a pass from Guillermo Barros Schelotto to clinch a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.
In 2011, Hedjuk signed for the Los Angeles Galaxy but only played six games for the team that would eventually win the title.
A native of La Mesa, California, Hejduk was also part of the 1996 Olympic team and the 2000 Olympic team that advanced to the semifinals.