At 4:00 p.m. this evening ESPN announced that U.S. Men's National Soccer Team Coach Bruce Arena has selected his team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany this summer, and life-long surfer Frankie Hejduk has, for the third time, made the squad. According to Frankie, the coach had been very tight-lipped about squad selection in the past months as the World Cup has grown nearer.
"Arena wouldn't tell anyone who was going to make the team, so it's a complete surprise, said Frankie, who was celebrating with friends at home in Columbus, Ohio. "I just watched it on SportsCenter, and I'm so psyched!
Americans typically don't realize that the World Cup is by far the biggest sporting even on Earth. It takes 4 years to qualify, during which the U.S. Men's National Team played 59 games and used 85 different players. Billions (with a "B) will watch it on television.
Frankie is a soccer star who's played professionally in the U.S. (he's currently a starter for MLS team The Columbus Crew) and in Europe, as well as playing in two Olympics, the UEFA Champion's League, and two previous World Cups (1998 & 2002). But his talents don't end on the field. He's also a excellent surfer who was part of a national high school championship team in the late 1980s. He still surfs whenever his schedule permits.
Hejduk will ship out to North Carolina for the World Cup camp on May 10 and the fight for a starting position against the other 22 players and 13 alternates who made the roster. The U.S.A.'s first game is against the Czech Republic on June 12, so make sure you tune in and route for Frankie.
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