Hejduk sidelined by groin injury, set to miss Costa Rica match

Frankie Hejduk (ISIphotos.com) 

                                               Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. national team defender Frankie Hejduk was not in uniform for the Columbus Crew's match tonight vs. San Jose and it looks as though he won't be in uniform when the U.S. team faces Costa Rica in San Jose a week from now.

According to a television report during the Crew-Earthquakes match, Hejduk will not play in the Costa Rica qualifier because of the groin injury that sidelined him from tonight's Crew match.

If Hejduk can't go, U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley will have to turn to either Toronto FC defender Marvell Wynne or West Ham defender Jonathan Spector to replace him when the United States faces Costa Rica at Estadio Saprissa on June 3rd.

Hejduk has enjoyed a renaissance as the U.S. team's starting right back since taking over for injured starter Steve Cherundolo. He helped the U.S. team pull off a two-goal comeback to draw El Salvador, 2-2, in the U.S. team's last qualifier.

Now Bradley will need to turn to Wynne or Spector to replace Hejduk in the lineup. Spector has the edge in national team experience, having made 12 appearances for the national team, compared to Marvell Wynne's two appearances.

Spector fought through injuries to enjoy an increased role with West Ham this past EPL season, including a starting role by the end of the season. Wynne has recently had some injury concerns, but has battled back and looked sharp for Toronto FC this season.

Who do you think should get the nod vs. Costa Rica if Hejduk can't play? Cast your vote:

What do you think of this news? Who do you think will start? Do you think the U.S. national team will be able to win at Saprissa? Will they miss Hejduk?

Share your thoughts below.

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54 Responses to Hejduk sidelined by groin injury, set to miss Costa Rica match

  1. Jacob A. says:

    Wynne gets my vote based on wanting to see Spector at left back, but I certainly have no qurraels with Bornstein there and Spector on the right.

  2. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Whatever Bob Bradley decides to do, I intend to complain about it. 😉

  3. M says:

    Jonathan Spector >>>>>>>>>>>>> Wynne

    Premier League starter vs MLS Starter
    Come one. That’s a joke.

  4. Rekro says:

    Wynne for sure, he has the pace to keep up with costa rica’s quick attack.

  5. Chuck says:

    I think it’s pretty clear what lineup we’ll see if Frankie can’t go:






  6. Rekro says:

    Hopefully Spector will be starting at Left Back……

  7. Freddy says:

    Spector at LB and Wynne at RB.

  8. Å vejk says:

    Spector is the safe pick here, but I was hoping to see him at left back (or in the middle, with Los on the left). Starting Wynne in Saprissa would be a baptism of fire, but it would tell us a lot about him as a player. Thinking strictly about the outcome of this game, it’s a risk, but one which could pay off.

  9. MiamiAl says:

    thats a big blow…neither spector or wynne has been able to show that they deserve to be the starter…hopefully frankie can heal quickly…

  10. Chuck says:

    To be honest, I’ve seen a whole lot of either player recently, but I guess I’m selecting Spector because of level of competitiob. However, I do remember Wynne looking great at the Olympics kast Summer. I don’t think Spector offers as much going forward. All that considered I still think Bob starts Spector on the right and Bornstein on the left.

  11. Freddy says:

    You guys think Costa Rica is too dangerous for Bobbo to experiment with a 3-5-2 (Boca, Gooch, DeMerit)? I say yes, but I’d like to see it happen.

  12. Josh says:

    I would prefer Spector playing RB in Costa Rica, with Bornstein on the left. Then start Wynne the 2nd game at RB and give Spector a run out on the left. IMO it would greatly improve our team if Spector could stay healthy. He would give us instant depth across the entire back line.

  13. Dave says:

    That sucks, I don’t think Spector or Wynne come even close to matching Hejduk’s crossing abilities.

  14. Freddy says:


    What crossing abilities? Or are you being sarcastic? Hejduk himself admits he’s a terrible crosser.

  15. AltiCooper says:

    I picked Wynne but only because I want to see Spector at Left Back… I am excited to see whoever starts how they fair

  16. Fulham Pete says:

    HA! Dave!

  17. John says:

    Wynne’s more accustomed to playing on plastic

  18. Freddy says:

    Very good point John. I would definitely go with Wynne then.

  19. Fulham Pete says:

    I picked Wynne, ‘cuz I like fast players. Speed covers a lot of mistakes. No, not all of ’em, of course, but the upside makes up for a lot of ’em.

  20. Not too keen on Bornstein. Ideally we’d have Spector at LB and Cherundolo at RB…hopefully we will see that sometime this summer. Hope Steve heals quickly.

  21. einar says:

    wynne over spector cuz he is already fit and has looked sharp for tfc while spector has battled for injuries. but both will play cuz either one will get subbed off if u think about it. with spector’s fitness or wynne can do a mistake.

  22. fifawitz1313 says:

    Thank you…Not 2 say I don’t respect the man for all he has one for US Soccer but it is time to move on. He will not be able to defend top international forwards which is exactly what we need. We need a young defender whether it is Spector or Wynne to step up big in this opportunity and prove that they are the man for the job.

  23. Felix says:

    Let’s just get it over with and get Spector in there, this guy has been been penciled in everyone’s starting lineup for a few years now it seems like.

    I hope he doesn’t get hurt again though, his injuries seem to be never-ending.

  24. Yossarian says:

    Fact check time:

    M, I think it’s an absurdly huge stretch to call Spector a “Premier League starter.” The guy has started exactly FOUR games

    and Dave, I think my 5-year-old nephew could “come even close to matching Hejduk’s crossing abilities.” Frankie has a terrific workrate but his crossing, outside of that one nice cross two USMNT games ago, is pretty awful

  25. Gary says:

    I love Wynne, but you gotta go with Spector, who was starting games for West Ham.

  26. LTADA says:

    Yossarian–to be fair, Spector has started exactly 49 Premier league games across 3 teams in his career. That’s not a terrible track record when compared to Wynne.

  27. Never First says:

    I’d go with Spector, but there will be plenty of games this summer for both men to try to win a spot.

    A bit off topic, but the play-by-play guy for the Crew said Bob Bradley should beg McBride to come out of retirement for WC 2010. I have to say I agree with him. I know he’s old, but is there honestly another forward who has shown anything?

  28. hdtv says:

    the idea that hejduk was the starter and spector had to beat him out shows how messed up american soccer is right now. a player with EPL experience and getting minutes for a top ten team is considered second string to an old player for the Columbus Crew. great.

  29. Jon E says:

    I know he’s old, but is there honestly another forward who has shown anything?
    Posted by: Never First | May 27, 2009 at 11:25 PM
    Jozy Altidore.

  30. Jon E says:

    the idea that hejduk was the starter and spector had to beat him out shows how messed up american soccer is right now. a player with EPL experience and getting minutes for a top ten team is considered second string to an old player for the Columbus Crew. great.
    Posted by: hdtv | May 27, 2009 at 11:27 PM
    Hejduk was the starter because the first-choice RB–a consistent Bundesliga starter–has been injured.

    Hejduk has consistently played well for the US. Spector has consistently been injured. When it comes to picking a line-up for a World Cup Qualifier, you go with guys who are healthy and match-fit. Injured is injured, no matter how humble or prestigious a player’s club.

  31. Sean Monaghan says:

    Spector over Wynne anyday….Wynne cannot mark to save himself….speed can only get you so far

  32. Trent says:

    Just got back from the Crew game. Good job Crew! The Crew had in a backup gk and two backup defenders and still won. San Jose even had the ref in their back pocket. The ref missed a handball on the San Jose goal and he missed a handball when Schelotto schooled to San Jose defenders. Should have been a PK for the Crew and the Crew should have won 3-0 if the ref had common sense. The linesmen were even arguing with the main ref. Something needs to be done. I wonder if Convey gave him an autographed jersey so he would call the game their way?

  33. Supsam says:

    Costa Rica will play where Saprissa plays. Yes, that means plastic turf people. Given that, i would actually play someone who trains and plays on it almost on a daily basis………so i would go with Wynne. If it all goes wrong, thats whay substitutions are for

  34. goalscorer24 says:

    No disrespect to Hedjuk, but I think these injuries (where no one is seriously hurt) are the best thing that can happen for the US national team as it is the only way the new players will get a chance to start in a meaningful game under coach Bradley. Either Wynne or Spector is good!

  35. Supsam says:

    wow Trent. Why are you bragging about beating a last place team at home? Just cuz you were missing key players did not mean san jose was at full strength either. The quakes top three players (Huckerby, Alvarez, and Leitch) were all injured/suspended (granted Alvaraez was only able to be a sub)and dont forget you were playing at home and was well rested. San Jose had played Housten a couple of days ago so back off.

  36. steve says:

    I say spector just because i want to see beasley at left back again instead of seeing spector there. Spector plays right back anyway. Never really been too high on Wynne. I think he’s the problem with alot of the soccer in the US…too much emphasis on athleticism and not enough on skill.

  37. im gonna miss frankie. who else is gonna yell “f&*k yeah” and piss off the other team, and start a fracas in the locker room??

  38. Yossarian says:

    LTADA, I meant Spector’s started 4 games this year – sorry if that was unclear. My point being that it’s misleading to call him a starter in the premier league when he’s only really a part-timer. I’d love to see him take charge of one of the back spots but it’s been a long time since I saw him in good form. Between injuries and inconsistency and off-form, it’s certainly not a no-brainer between he and Wynne. In fact, I’d probably give the edge to Wynne.

  39. marvell wynne says:

    MARVELL WYNNE is the winner (wynner?)

  40. KBD says:

    I’m fine with either. Spector obviously has more experience, but I really admire Marvell Wynne’s athleticism. Plus, we’re facebook friends…. so I voted for him lol.

  41. beckster says:

    Yossarian, to be fair, Spector was injured until late winter and just as he was beginning to start games (because of Hammer injuries), he received the concussion and was out again. He came back to start the last couple of games. Spector is very versatile and has faced many of the top strikers in the world. Because he is so versatile, he is likely to be on the bench in the EPL where players generally master one position only. Spector is important to a team because he can play right wing as well as any of the back four positions. Give him a chance, he could easily play that important role for the US team.

  42. zongzap says:

    There’s other options. I don’t think Bradley likes Spector that much based on how he’s used him in the past and I’m not sure he trusts Wynne enough to start him.

    Look for either Bornstein to start or possibly Beasley

  43. Isaac says:

    Those saying Wynne offers more going forward or wrong. Spector has a MUCH better touch, smarter and sharper passing, a better cross than Wynne(although Wynne’s isn’t bad either). Spector also has more stamina. In the Sweden game, Wynne started to tire and gave a Swede room for the cross that led to the first goal. Wynne has more speed and 1v1 but I think Bob Bradley will go for discipline against a team we’ve never beaten away from home.

  44. Army of Dad says:

    Spector, no question.

  45. Pat says:

    Spector is a much, much better player at this point. Wynne has Hejduk-like crossing abilities and is a poor defender, he gets by on hustle and speed, just like Hejduk. I don’t mean to get down on Wynne, I think he has a bright future, but Spector is by far the better player.

  46. I would start Wynne at RB and swap Bornstein and Spector at LB, with Spector down in Costa Rica. I don’t care how fast the Costa Rican attack is, I don’t think they are going to be a match for Wynne’s speed and athleticism. At some point Bradley is going to have to get Wynne blooded and this is Wynne’s chance. With Hejduk likely out due to injury, this is Wynne’s chance.

    For those who claim Spector is not a starter in EPL, remember, he has battled some nasty injuries this year and despite those set-backs Zola turned to Spector when he was healthy during the crucnh time run at the end of the season.

  47. Jose A. V. says:

    I like both guys, and i agree Spector should start and if he is getting cream, take him out immediately and put in Wynne.

  48. Gunnah says:

    I would start Spector over Hejduk even if he is healthy. Hejduk obviously has a great engine and is as gritty as they come but come on hes 35 and his stepover just isnt what it used to be…….

  49. Chase says:

    Huge opportunity for Spector. It could also be a litmus test to see if Wynne is really an international quality player. I know he was decent in that Sweden-B team friendly, but so was Klejstan (and we’ve seen how well he has coped in WCQs).

    I really don’t understand what the fascination with posters on here with playing Spector at LB, when he really only has played RB/CB (as well as a little DM under Curbishley) with West Ham.

  50. Roberto says:

    Wynne over Spector at RB!!! Cause he’s better and faster… And just to upset all the euro trash posters here who salivate with English football, viva messi carajo!!!!!!

  51. SBGarrett says:

    I’ll complain no matter what, since I’d prefer a lineup of

    Spector – Subotic – ‘Gooch – Boca

    That would be a slower, yet pretty strong back-line.

  52. Yossarian says:

    Yes, Spector’s ball skills and touch are better than Wynne’s, but Marvelle’s form and health are much better and he is a better fit for the U.S. system. Keep in mind that the U.S. wingbacks typically have to cover more ground than European backs do. The U.S. relies on their backs to make a ton of overlapping runs and still have the speed to get back for defense. This is why they keep giving chances to Bornstein despite his atrocious defending.

    Wynne has that catch-up speed that no one else on the USMNT team has (even Beasley). He has an extra gear that must be very intriguing for Bradley. He is also very strong and his defensive technique has improved greatly to the point where he can shut down opposing forwards, though he still has appalling lapses in concentration that are very dangerous. I hope they both get a chance to show what they can do. We certainly need the depth.

  53. Let’s hope that we see Wynne on the right and Spector at LB

  54. Joamiq says:

    I picked Spector just because I haven’t seen him in a while, but if he’s the same old Jonathan Spector, I’m not convinced he’s been than Wynne. Spector can be very erratic and wild. He has some interesting takes on how to tackle. Hejduk and Dolo are both way more reliable.