- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 3, 2010
- 0 Comments
- Brian McBride, Player Retirements
I suppose the rest of the year for the Chicago Fire is now the Brian McBride farewell tour. McBride announced today that he is retiring at the end of the season from professional soccer.
McBride was the very first pick in the MLS inaugural draft back in 1996. The Columbus Crew got the honors of having McBride on their roster for a few years before he took off to England to play with Fulham. His time with the US Men’s National team is well documented as well from his goals in the World Cup to the famous bloody nose in the 2006 World Cup game against Italy.
McBride was simply a goal scorer. He knew his way around the penalty area better than anyone in my eyes who’s donned a US jersey (I know Landon Donovan has more goals, I know). He was fearless with his head and was never shy to get in the middle of things.
But what McBride really did was start the revolution of Americans going to Europe in a big way. His time at Fulham showed the footprint of how to do it right in Europe for an American player. Getting the proper playing time with the right team and system always yields success and McBride had that at Fulham.
Once he came back to MLS to play with the Fire we knew it wouldn’t be forever. I think its proper that he’s hanging it up after this season as well. Its not a matter of his season performance dipping this year or his age (38) but the timing just seems right. He got to come home to play for his hometown club and really who wouldn’t want to go out like that?
His place will be among the all-time greats in Chicago, Columbus and in London. I’d imagine one day we’ll see his face on a statue somewhere.
I think its also worth mentioning how much the league has come full circle here now with a retirement like McBrides (and Jamie Moreno’s later too). Seeing guys that were apart of that 1996 class and how their careers are now coming to a close shows that the league has grown up a lot.
What’s your favorite McBride memory? Any with the Crew? With Fulham? USMNT? Any from the last two years in Chicago?