I've been trying to navigate through the common application for US unis...I think I might be too late for '09 application, is this right?
No -- applications aren't due till January 1st for many schools and even later for others. It's a bit late to start getting organized (choosing schools, taking SAT(s), getting recommendations), but it's doable.
The short answer is - it depends on the uni. Policy for international student applications is different than for domestic students (who would not be too late to apply).