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Frankie Hejduk inks new deal with Crew

January 25, 2007 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC News Release

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew General Manager Mark McCullers announced today that defender/midfielder Frankie Hejduk has been signed to a new two-year contract. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"There isn't anywhere in MLS I'd rather be than Columbus and I'm excited about returning," Hejduk said. "I'm ready to get back to work and try to help bring a championship to the city and its great fans."

One of the most recognizable and dynamic players in Major League Soccer and a longtime U.S. National Team standout, the 32-year-old Hejduk has been with the Crew since the 2003 season. In 65 games with the club, he has scored five goals and assisted on four others. He appeared in just four games in 2006, before suffering a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on April 29, from which he has now fully recovered.

"Getting Frankie signed was a priority of ours this offseason," said General Manager Mark McCullers. "Not only is he a stalwart who provides professionalism and a tireless work rate, he also brings some personality, energy and enthusiasm to our team. He's somebody who belongs in Black & Gold and he helps solidify our back line."

Hejduk has the distinction of being the only U.S. National Team player to see action in both the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups and the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. He was also named to the 2006 U.S. World Cup squad just a day before his ACL tear was diagnosed, which ended his quest to play in three successive World Cups.

"We are very excited that Frankie will continue to be part of the Crew," said Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "We're looking forward to having him for a full season this year and his leadership will be very important to our success."

Hejduk is a four-time MLS All-Star who has appeared in a total of 115 games (10 goals, 13 assists) in an MLS career that began with the Tampa Bay Mutiny from 1996-98, following a three-year collegiate career at UCLA, where he played for Schmid. Between his two MLS stints, he played professionally overseas for Bayer Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga (1998-2002) and St. Gallen of the Swiss First Division (2002).

The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it will open its 12th season overall and ninth in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, April 7, when it plays host to the Eastern Conference-rival New York Red Bulls.

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