COLUMBUS, Ohio — Frankie Hejduk, named to the previous three World Cup squads but left off of this year’s US roster, knows the heartache felt by Columbus Crew teammates Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall.
The latter two returned to training Thursday after being told the day before by coach Bob Bradley that they were among seven players that did not make the final 23-man team headed to South Africa on Sunday.
“They both gave it everything they had,” Hejduk said. “It didn’t work out for them. There’s some things that are out of your control. Everybody knows they are good players but we need them here. In that regard I’m happy to see them again but I know how hard it is.”
Neither Rogers, a midfielder, nor Marshall wanted to talk about the end of their dreams but Rogers did say, “I’m disappointed, but it is what it is.”
He promised to discuss the matter after Columbus face Los Angeles on Saturday.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha hasn’t decided if the pair will be in the lineup. Rogers played the second half against the Czech Republic on Tuesday while Marshall has been bothered by a persistent hamstring strain that hindered his training at the recent US camp.
Following Saturday’s match, the Crew play away June 2 vs. San Jose and three days later against Colorado before taking a three-week break. The team wants to make sure Marshall, the MLS Defender of the Year the past two seasons, is fully recovered.
Warzycha said Rogers and Marshall need to maintain positive attitudes.
“They can use it as motivation,” he said. “Go out there and prove that they are the guys that maybe should have been selected. I’m not saying Bradley made a mistake. He made a selection. He saw the guys for so many years and built the team with his vision.”
Rogers, 23, and Marshall, 25, do have time on their side.
“There’ll be plenty of opportunities for both of them in the coming years,” Hejduk, 35, said. “They have bright futures. There’s nothing to hold their heads down about. If anything, they’ve got a lot to look forward to. I’m pretty confident both of them are going to be fine in life and soccer life.”
Warzycha expects them to rebound quickly.
“They’re disappointed, but Bob is the National Team coach,” he said. “He brought them to the camp so he had them in some kind of plan. He has an idea of how he wants to play, and they didn’t fit into his plans. That doesn’t mean they are not good players.”