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McBride interested in U.S. Olympic spot


                                                                                               Photo by ISI Photos

If you thought the last image you would ever have of Brian McBride in a U.S. uniform was him walking off the field after the U.S. team’s World Cup loss to Ghana in 2006, think again.

McBride and U.S. Olympic team coach Peter Nowak have had discussions about McBride being one of the team’s three over-age players for this summer’s Olympics and McBride is interested in being on the team, making him a front-runner to be one of the three senior players chosen by Nowak.

Sources have told SBI that McBride is one of several over-age candidates contacted by Nowak about playing in Beijing and McBride is very interested in being on the team. His inclusion would give the team a sorely-needed boost at the forward position and he could potentially form an imposing forward tandem with Jozy Altidore.

So why is a 35-year old (36 at the Olympics) going to snap a two-year national team retirement for the Olympics? Of all of McBride’s impressive national team accomplishments, including World Cups, Gold Cups and a Confederations Cup, he has never played in the Olympics. There is still plenty of time between now and July, when the Olympic team will convene, so McBride’s health and continued interest will ultimately determine if he does join the team, but right now McBride should be considered a front-runner.

Also working in McBride’s favor is the possibility that some of the U.S. senior team’s top players will be unavailable for the Olympics due to a schedule conflict with a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. While the schedule issue could still be worked out, there is also a scenario where the qualifier cannot be moved and the Olympic schedule forces some top American players to pass on the Olympics.

Does this mean there could be a national team come-back in McBride’s future? I haven’t heard anything on that but I would find it hard to believe that McBride would turn down the call if Bob Bradley asked for his help and the U.S. team were facing a must-win situation in World Cup qualifying. You may recall Tab Ramos coming out of retirement after two years away from the national team to help the U.S. World Cup qualifying campaign in 2000 (he helped the U.S. post a pair of blowout wins vs. Barbados). Given the unsettled nature of the U.S. forward crop, you cannot rule it out.

For now, the focus should be on the very real possibility that McBride could lead a talented U.S. Olympic team into what should be a very deep and difficult tournament at the Olympics.

What do you think of McBride coming back to play in the Olympics? Share your thoughts below.


  1. This is fantastic news.

    If the scheduling conflict can’t be resolved, here are my top overage picks for China this summer:

    1) McBride

    2) Cory Gibbs

    3) Eddie Lewis

    4) (if Lewis is with the senior MNT) Frank Simek

  2. Count me in the minority, just don’t think McBride would be my choice for one of the spots. Great guy, but too similar to a quicker Jozy. If McBride comes in Jozy sits. The U-23’s showed us that we need players who can move the ball forward and get it into scoring position. The lack of scoring did not come because of a lack of talent up front, (OK but only partially), rather it was the lack of service. The forwards rarely saw the ball as the wing combination of Davies & Findley did not pan out for Nowak.

    Give me Deuce & Donavon, or Donavon and Beez if he is healthy. Hejduk or Dolo even, but Brian McBride is not going to do very much with little service to his mcHead.

  3. This idea works on many different levels, and if McBride wants it, he has certainly earned it.

    Cracking addition for the Olympics.

  4. I would be so excited if this happens. It was painful to watch one of the most decorated and best ever americans leaving international play like mcbride did in germany. he’s such a consistent preformer. maybe he’d be the flag bearer in the ceremonies?? (one can dream)

  5. I think McBride would bring grit, toughness & finishing class that no other forward in our pool offers.

    Jozy is close but needs some more work on the toughness and grit part. It would make for a dangerous front line though…assuming Nowak would actually be ‘bold’ enough to play a 4-4-2 and not a BS 4-2-3-1 again.

  6. I called this one. And as for whether players should be allowed to pick and choose which games to play in, I guess that’s probably true. But it seems to me that Olympic soccer isn’t really an event for the full national team. I just consider it a completely different thing. And McBride would fit in perfectly with the setup for this tournament. Hahnemann would be nice as well, since it doesn’t look like he’ll get to be #1 for a World Cup. As for the third member, I’d just pick the best player that was available, whoever that is. But I can find absolutely nothing wrong with McBride playing in this tournament.

  7. I love the McBride injury comments, followed by calls for Hejduk and O’brien. Throw in Cory Gibbs and the team would need a hospital to travel with.

  8. Brant:

    When you’re wrong, you’re wrong! I was way off on this one! I’m eating my humble pie right now!

    I can’t believe this one. I love Brian McBride as much as the next guy but I don’t think you should be able to pick and choose when you play for the U.S. National team. You’re either retired or you’re not retired. I think there are other players who haven’t “retired” from international play who deserve this more. What next? Players saying they are retired internationally except for the World Cup?

    Then there is the fact that he hasn’t even played that well since his return from injury. So he hasn’t even earned it with his play either.

    I understand everyone loving McBride. How can you not? However just having a name up front will not necessarily help the U.S. team. He has to at least earn the spot.

  9. Brant,

    I love that you are/were in favor of adding McBride, but if you look at the comments from the Honduras Under 23 game, you will find this before your comments:

    McBride should be added as one of the three senior players…I know he has retired from the USMNT, but he might be interested in playing in the Olympics.

    Posted by: Andrew | March 23, 2008 at 06:56 PM

    Good to see Sacha has returned to his usual suckiness.

    Andrew Fulham would never let McBride play in the Olympics, and to be honest I doubt he would even consider it.

    Posted by: kpugs | March 23, 2008 at 06:57 PM


    If Fulham is relegated, I can see them allowing him to play in the Olympics. Heck, he might even come back to the MLS, even though they love him there.

    Posted by: Andrew | March 23, 2008 at 07:01 PM


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