Special delivery for Frankie Hejduk the other day. The Crew SC legend received an oversized ring honoring him as a member of the Pac-12 All-Century Men’s Soccer Team.
Hejduk is one of several former Crew SC players named to the All-Century squad, including Brad Friedel, Chad Marshall, Billy Thompson, Ante Razov, Chris Henderson and Paul Caligiuri. Former Crew SC Head Coach Sigi Schmid was named Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Coach of the Century and Friedel earned the Player of the Century honor.
Hejduk made the Starting XI along with several former college, Crew SC and USMNT teammates. Nine of the 11 starters, including Hejduk, played their collegiate careers at University of the Califronia, Los Angeles, which won three NCAA National Championships under Schmid, who coached the Bruins from 1980 to 1998.
“When you start to see the names, what’s on that list, it really hit me that this is a big deal,” Hejduk says. “It’s cool that we have all these guys who are associated with Crew SC on that team. It shows the type of quality that this club likes to bring in.”
For Hejduk, the unexpected honor brought back some fond memories from his collegiate days. The self-proclaimed surfer kid from San Diego arrived at UCLA as a freshman in 1992. His first-year roommate was a no nonsense goalkeeper from Lakewood, Ohio – Brad Friedel.
“I don’t know if Sigi was too confident that I would be on time for all the trips we were going on, and he was making sure that Brad was on top of me,” Hejduk says. “Brad was always a little bit of a father figure but still a close bro at the same time. It was a perfect integration to college for me. […] Coming in as a surfer kid and not really knowing what to expect, Brad Friedel showed me what to expect.”
Both Friedel and Hejduk would later embark on careers with both the U.S. Men’s National Team and Crew SC. They are just two of a number of players on the All-Century squad who made names for themselves in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s the full roster:
Ante Razov (UCLA, 1992-95)
Billy Thompson (UCLA, 1986-90)
Robbie Findley (Oregon State, 2003-06)
Joe-Max Moore (UCLA, 1990-92)
Cobi Jones (UCLA, 1988-91)
Chris Henderson (UCLA, 1989-90)
Carlos Bocanegra (UCLA, 1997-99)
Paul Caligiuri (UCLA, 1982-86)
Ryan Nelsen (Stanford, 1999-00)
Frankie Hejduk (UCLA, 1992-94)
Brad Friedel (UCLA, 1990-92)
FORWARD: Danny Mwanga (Oregon State, 2008-09); Ted Rafalovich (Stanford, 1978-81); Calen Carr (California, 2002-05)
MIDFIELD: Leo Stolz (UCLA, 2012-14); Eddie Lewis (UCLA, 1992-95); Dale Ervine (UCLA, 1982-85); C.J. Klaas (Washington, 2001-04)
DEFENSE: Steve Birnbaum (California, 2010-13); A.J. Soares (California 2007-10); Chad Marshall (Stanford, 2002-03)
GOALKEEPER: Matt Reis (UCLA, 1994-97); Nick Rimando (UCLA, 1997-99)
Hejduk says the number of UCLA players on the roster is a testament to Sigi Schmid’s recruiting and coaching abilities.
“Sigi did his homework. We were lucky enough to have him not only at UCLA in California but to also have him here at the Crew. I think his legacy speaks for itself.”
The All-Century team was selected by a panel that consisted of current and former players, coaches and members of the media. They selected 23 players out of 64 nominated by Pac-12 institutions.