COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew today announced that Frankie Hejduk has been selected as the second member of the club’s Circle of Honor, the Crew’s highest accolade that pays homage to its most iconic performers and personalities.
Hejduk’s name is set to become a permanent fixture upon the upper fascia at Crew Stadium alongside inaugural inductee Brian McBride. The special Circle of Honor induction ceremony is being held on Saturday, September 20 – a change from the previously announced date of Saturday, September 27. A commemorative Hejduk bobblehead, presented by OhioHealth, is being distributed to the first 10,000 fans in attendance as the Crew takes on the New England Revolution that evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“Frankie is one of the most celebrated and important players in the history of the Columbus Crew and he certainly deserves this level of recognition,” said Crew Investor-Operator and Chairman Anthony Precourt. “He was a strong leader and an outstanding player, and there aren’t many people who have represented this club and the sport with the passion and professionalism that Frankie has exemplified throughout his career. I couldn’t be happier for Frankie and his family to receive this honor.”
Hejduk’s lengthy and storied playing credentials made him eligible to be among the candidates for this year’s Circle of Honor induction, and from there the fans played an integral part in cementing his legacy. After an initial round of online fan voting, Hedjuk was among five finalists that included Mike Clark, Brian Maisonneuve, Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Robert Warzycha. A second online fan vote accounted for a percentage of the final tally, with the remaining percentage coming from a selection committee comprised of club ownership and executives.
"To receive this honor and to be recognized in a permanent way is a huge privilege for me and my family," said Circle of Honor inductee Frankie Hejduk. "I’ve played with Brian McBride and countless players over the years that have become family to me; it’s an honor that my name goes up there, but I’m thankful for all my teammates along the way who helped me get this point. To also have the fans' support means everything to me. Over the years, they've been behind me for whatever I've done – whether it be on the playing field or now in my Brand Ambassador role – this fan base and this city have always supported me."
“I can’t think of a player who played with more passion and effort in every single thing he did. Frankie was a great example to everyone over the course of his career,” said Hejduk’s former United States Men’s National Team teammate and Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “I know he means so much to this community and to this club. Frankie was a great teammate, a great roommate and a great friend. This is an extremely gratifying moment for him and his family, and I think this honor cements his place in the hearts of Columbus Crew fans.”
The halftime ceremony is one of several events now taking place on September 20, which includes the legendary Bob Evans dollar brats and dollar Budweiser drafts promotion on top of College Night.
“By moving the Circle of Honor induction ceremony and layering it into our popular Dollar Night and College Night promotions, we feel that we have all of the ingredients for a potential sellout,” said Crew Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Malo. “It’s important that we provide the best experience for the Circle of Honor inductee and our fans for such a significant part of our history.”
From 2003-2010, Hejduk scored nine goals and added 18 assists in 171 matches across all competitions for the Black & Gold. A high-energy leader and two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, Hejduk captained the Crew to the 2008 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield, as well as the 2009 Supporters’ Shield. He was also a member of the 2004 Shield-winning squad. A five-time MLS All-Star, Hejduk scored the iconic goal that sealed the Crew’s 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in MLS Cup 2008. Hejduk also represented the Crew on the international stage, earning 85 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Upon his retirement from soccer after the 2011 season – in which he won another MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy – Hejduk returned to Columbus as the Crew’s Brand Ambassador, where he continues to work tirelessly to promote the club and the sport in our community.
Tickets for the special Circle of Honor induction are available at TheCrew.com/tickets.