The USMNT defeated Jamaica 1-0 last night on a deflected free kick by Herculez Gomez, turning “oh my god we’re gonna lose and then not qualify and then America will hate soccer and our kids will take up lacrosse and pop their shirt collars and call each other ‘bro’ and it’s all Jurgen’s fault” to “yeah, we’ve probably got this. The crowd, a packed, partisan, raucous Crew Stadium, played a part in driving on the players, and a lot of that is down to the fact that Frankie Hejduk was in the house.
Saint Francis of Hejduk, as I’ve just decided to call him, is an American institution. Although not the most naturally talented player, he was quick and worked five times harder than anybody else out there, bringing along an infectious energy that resonated with fans.
It also didn’t hurt that he did stuff like this:
And although he’s retired, the inimitable Frankie Heydude is still Mr. Columbus Soccer, having played for the Crew for nine seasons and captained them to multiple trophies while maintaining a place on the national team forever a decade. So of course he was there at Crew Stadium, driving on the fans to drive on the USMNT.
If you missed this, shot from my seat of US Soccer’s new cheerleading squad. Only need 1 guy if it’s the right guy: twitter.com/BrianStraus/st…
— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) September 12, 2012