News out of the
The Columbus Crew captain is now one of the 22 players in the
I know, I know, Hejduk doesn’t exactly jingle your keys.
He’s 35, so he’s been around since, like, the Sony Walkman was all that.
He’s not nearly as much fun to talk about as all the young bucks. And he plays for
But I’m here to tell you, this isn’t a bad addition.
First, when he’s healthy – which, admittedly, is a little less often these days – he’ll still get up and down the line more than Spector, Cherundolo or anyone else Bradley can throw out there.
Second, there’s nobody over there at the moment really blowing Bradley’s little coaching socks off. But there’s another, even more important reason that this is no terrible idea.
Hejduk is fearless. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around him – he’s just there to play a little soccer, kick a couple of shins and then cruise the internet for the latest surfing vids on YouTube.
I tell people this all the time: the pressure of a World Cup qualifier does strange things to players. The toughest among can sometimes go all weak-kneed once inside a teeming cauldron in some foreign land; they can melt like a school girl at a Jonas Brothers show. And you just gotta think, going to
So, having a guy around who doesn’t stand a chance of being undone by it all is important. Younger players notice – and it has a calming effect.
Remember how good DaMarcus Beasley was in the 2002 World Cup? Yeah, yeah, I know: that guy could barely get by Franz Beckenbauer these days. And Der Kaiser is 64 now!
But forget about the puny version of Beasley now. Think about that slippery little ragamuffin circa 2002.
I’ll never forget the story then-boss Bruce Arena told about Beasley, about the moment on the team bus he informed the little attacker, who went about a buck-20 back then, that he would be starting in the World Cup opener against mighty Portugal.
That was Beasley’s response. He had that same kind of fearlessness back then – even if his was due to the naïveté of youth, the result is the same.
Call is courageousness. Call it cockiness. Call it freakin’ daring-do or whatever.
You need some of it in these wild-ass qualifier, played before wild-ass fans in broken down stadiums where security may or may not be able to contain the riot once it breaks out.
Hejduk brings it.