so! I live in the DC area and work in the city but had a day off and decided to go get my little brother a belated birthday present at Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. and lo and behold, who do I see going through the Reggae section in the music area? none other than....
Frankie "The Original Hippie of US Soccer' Hejduk!!
yes, even with the Bob Marley shirt, there he was! I wasn't sure if it was him so i went ahead and asked and to my surprise, didn't seem bothered at all that I was interrupting his moment of zen with the King of Reggae and even started up a conversation with me and boy did he have a lot on his mind!!!
First, he asked me what I thought of the World Cup. I told him I thought it was so surreal, so bittersweet, great to see our boys showing so much heart but at the same time so disappointed at how poorly they played, tactically. He said that's how he felt and was VERY disappointed with all the 'unneeded changes' made for the Ghana game. He said that at the end of the day, we should've been strong enough not to have sweated so much against Slovenia and Algeria as we did, reffing issues aside.
then the 'real talk' revelations came out!
I then moved the subject to Bob Bradley's contract extension and he started off with 'wow... I couldn't believe they gave this guy another four years...' and then said that this is not good at all for US Soccer's developement when he doesn't see how he will take the guys further and develop the kids better. I brought up a great article I read by Jamie Trecker lately about the real reasons why European clubs don't want our coaches and it's basically because they are not up to standard. Frankie agreed completely and brought up how Bradley was the only one hyping himself for the Aston Villa and Fulham jobs and when he (Frankie) watched Skysports, both clubs were clear on how he was never (in Fulham's case at least) a candidate for the job. Frankie then threw in a few chuckles afterwards :) Frankie then talked about how all the top managers in Europe and the world have at some point played top professional soccer while Bob Bradley played at 'where? Princeton? Yale? whatever, it's doesn't compare and Bruce Arenas (bring up old shit!) played lacrosse!' His exact words once again. He believed strongly that we are settling for mediocracy and depending too much on highlight reel heroes moments to win us games when we could be doing so much better as a whole at this point with guys playing regularly in Europe and MLS being around for 15 years now! So it's fair to say that Frankie Hedjuk does not approve.
We kept talking more about MLS and how his team beat my DC United team two days ago (something he threw his lovely chuckles around at as well). I then stopped an employee to ask if she could take a photo for me with Frankie. She said yes and then asked if he was someone famous to which he replied, 'sorta, I'm sorta a soccer player'. she admitted that she didn't know anything about soccer. We both said that it's okay, it's not too big but will be one day, to which I added that then he'll need security! So i got my sweet photo and then said good bye to probably our best right-back ever in USMNT history. he returned the farewell with 'later, dude!'
Special thanks to @wannabepunkster for encouraging me to post this!
don't mind my ackward smile and sweaty fatty self!