Carlisle United (League One)
#2 | Defender
October 13, 1984 (Age: 28)
St. Louis, Missouri
5' 10", 163 lbs (1.78 m, 74 kg)
Frankie Simek moved to England at the age of 10 and joined up with Arsenal's youth academy two years later. He progressed steadily through the ranks of their development teams and was rewarded with a professional contract in the summer of 2002.
Simek made his Arsenal debut at 19, in a December 2003 5-1 Carling Cup defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers, going the distance for the match. With that game, Simek became the first American to play for Arsenal's first team.
The defender's tough play and on-field leadership were recognized when Simek was chosen as captain of the Gunners reserve squad.
He was loaned to Queens Park Rangers of the Coca-Cola Championship League for a month in October 2004, making his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Preston North End. Simek played five matches with QPR and eight at League One AFC Bournemouth before returning to Arsenal.
Arsenal released him at the end of the 2004/05 season, and in July 2005, he signed a three-year deal with Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Simek has been almost ever-present at right back for Wednesday in 2005/06 and scored his first professional goal in February 2006 at Millwall, but his club was mired in a relegation fight for most of the season, only securing their Championship status with two games remaining.
The 2006/07 season started badly with Wednesday in the bottom third of the standings, but an impressive recovery led to a 9th place finish in May. Simek was elected Wednesday's 2006/07 player of the season by the Hillsborough fans.
Simek's fortunes with Wednesday took a turn for the worse in December 2007, when he suffered a serious ankle injury. He spent the next two and a half years battling injuries, fitness issues, and rustiness. During this period, Simek was in and out of Wednesday's lineup and was unable to replicate the outstanding play of his early years at the club.
In the summer of 2010, Simek left Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer and joined Carlisle United of League One on a two-year contract.
Simek has played in a few youth matches for the US, and scored for them in November 2002 against Canada, but Arsenal refused to release their player for the Under-20 Youth World Championships in 2003, reportedly because he was still not game fit after recovering from a knee injury.
In March 2007, he received his first senior national team call-up when Bob Bradley summoned him to join the roster for games against Ecuador and Guatemala. On March 28th, Simek made his full debut against Guatemala. He also participated in the 2007 Gold Cup, but his injury in December prevented him from further establishing himself in the team.
While he did receive one callup prior to the 2010 World Cup, Simek has largely fallen out of the national team picture for the time being.