The US national team is getting a few words of encouragement – and some tips on how to win in Guatemala – from a seasoned USA veteran.
Frankie Hejduk, a former longtime defender for the US, wrote a letter on USsoccer.com to the crop of players in Guatemala City ahead of Friday night’s World Cup qualifier and warned them to be prepared for anything.
"The conditions are those that you’re not always used to: hot, humid, grass a little thick, fans doing some crazy stuff,” he wrote. “Back in the day, for instance, the night before we played Guatemala in Mazatenango in 2000, all of a sudden we had a radio station outside of our hotel room blaring music.”
“It was actually really good music, but it was blasting until the early hours of the morning and none of us could sleep that night.”
Hejduk was a staple of the US team, having played in two World Cups and two Olympic tournaments. He amassed 85 caps for the USA
He was also an MLS original, having started his professional career with the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996 and retiring 15 years later with the LA Galaxy. In between, he had stints with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and with the Columbus Crew, a team he now serves as the brand ambassador for.