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Saying goodbye to McBride

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When Brian McBride's announced last week that he would retire at the end of the current MLS season, there were plenty of U.S. national team fans, and long-time fans of McBride, who realized the significance of McBride's impending farewell.

There aren't many American players who enjoyed careers as successful, or garnered as much adoration as McBride, who finished second to Landon Donovan in an SBI poll on who SBI readers' favorite U.S. national team player of all time was.

It might seem early to start discussing McBride's accomplishments, especially since he has a few months to go before he plays his final game, but you simply can't say enough about what McBride has meant to the game in this country.

I wrote a piece on McBride, and what his departure from the playing field means, for Fox Soccer. Give it a read and feel free to share your own memories and thoughts about McBride, his career, and his retirement in the comments section below.


  1. Pure class, tough as nails, and my favorite USMNT player. I love the idea of a McBride weekend with the Fire, Crew, and US, and hope it comes to pass (too bad Fulham can’t be involved too).

  2. My soccer claim to fame is having played against him in high school. I was designated a defensive specialist that day, not to leave his side. When I need to brag I say that I shut him down and kept him from scoring. When I feel more honest (which is rare), I’ll admit his assist set up the goal and they thoroughly dominated us. Even then he was special, but what he has done over the years has been astounding. He is a man of class and grit. He is legend.

  3. He had a different demeanor than any of our current strikers. You would never see him flop down looking for a call. The only way he was going down was if he got legitimately fouled or was bloodied/his eyelids swelled up so big he couldn’t see and the trainers/officials made him leave the game.

    His work rate was legendary and his foot skills underrated. There is so much talk about going to a 4-5-1 formation with a holding forward-he was the man to play holding forward-our current crop of strikers could learn quite a bit from how he played the game. He didn’t disappear-instead he was able to make something out of nothing.

    Memorable moments:

    1. Goals at WC 2002 esp. the first one v. Portugal
    2. USA Mexico Guerra Fria in Columbus eye swollen up about 15 minutes in
    3. v. Italy in 2006 bloody head

  4. Well, it’s time for us in Chicago to recognize one of our own Chicago style.


    1. Petition the USSF to play him in Saturday’s friendly – wouldn’t surprise me if Bob already has this in mind but let’s make sure it’s on everyone’s mind and radar.

    2. Weekend of McBride in Chicago and what a way to do it. Full circle – Crew, US Men’s Nats and Fire all in Chicago.

    Who’s in and who can start the online petition? I haven’t done one so I’d like to make sure it’s done right.

    Ives, can we use

  5. Tireless worker, underrated technical skills (his head excepted, of course; everybody knew how good “McHead” was in the air). His game was so unassuming that I worry about how well he’ll be remembered five years from now, but for anybody who watched that ’02 run (or knows anything about his career at Fulham), the man’s a pure legend.

  6. We can disagree on his talent level. I think he was a disaster with the ball at his feet…a true liability. That doesn’t mean, however, that he wasn’t valuable. He was. But that’s my take on his talent level and I’m being honest when I say I cringed when he had the ball on his feet. I expect some will disagree and that’s cool.

    My point was that he more than made up for his shortcomings in pace and talent with work rate a nose for goal.

  7. He was better on the ground than you give him credit for and he was an excellent header of the ball, one of the best in the Premiership when he played there.

    His talent was far from “indifferent”.

  8. To say this man bled for his team would be an understatement. In his prime, he was the kinda guy that would finish even a mis-hit cross. I turned my wife into a soccer fan after I explained his goal celebration. Clearly a family man, pure class on and off the field. As mentioned in the article, he was not a one trick pony, he had some pretty sick goals from distance, turning centerbacks inside out and was always in the right position. His diving header vs. Portugal (wc 02) ranks up there with LD’s last minute winner IMO.
    I would agree that 20 minutes vs Poland would be the least the USSF could do to show their/ our respect for the best example of US soccer of all time.

  9. Gotta love McBride. He was really an indifferent talent but he worked hard, was good in the air, and largely covered for his lack of speed and skill with his level of effort.

    He won a lot of people over with his class and he will be missed.

  10. If the USMNT doesn’t do something special for McBride in Chicago their headquarters better have troops outside of it! An absolutely brillant idea. How can you not give a runout to the man who has scored in 2 World Cups for the Nats. He is the reason I started watching the EPL in the first place. The man the legend……

  11. McBride was very special. Every child in youth soccer should have to watch McBride highlights on youtube. You are right about his fearless style, that’s what made him so special. He never gave up and was determined to always find a way to win. If we could only clone his spirit onto every other American player. . .

  12. Brian is/was a class act and my favorite USMNT player. He has unquestionable integrity and at the same time is a great athlete, two things which don’t always go together.

    I hope he comes back in some capacity with youth development or coaching. Thanks Brian!

  13. My one trip to the Cottage happened to coincide with McLengend’s last home game for FFC. (Was there for the “great escape”…but that’ a hole nuther story).

    Anyway the night before the match we were in a local pub near the Cottage and met some locals and some who had come in from Ireland for the match. When they found out we were Americans, they could not stop talking about Brian “MacBride”. One guy went on and on about how he points to “MacBride” as hero and someone to look up to for his son, who was 10 or 11.

    I’ve always loved McBride’s play and his persona, but to Fulham fans he was a gift from God. I bet we could have passed a hat at the game and raised enough money to build a statue of McAmazing outside of Craven Cottage.

    Ps. McHead scored in the game the next day. Thanks Brian.

  14. For all the success McBride has had elsewhere, and for all the love his other adopted teams/fans have for him, Brian is a hometown boy wrapping up his career in the city that gave him his earliest start.

    I’m not sure our alma mater (Buffalo Grove High School) will ever produce another like Brian McBride, but hometown fans are sure proud of his accomplishments and look forward to seeing his last few professional games in the red of the Chicago Fire.

  15. I personally find it a disgrace that US Soccer hasn’t given the “pioneers” from the past 20 years proper send offs.

    McBride, Reyna, Pope, Lalas, Cobi, Keller, Friedel et al, should have been given a nominal final cap in a friendly along the way.

    I think the only one that did (sort of) was Meola, and that was essentially a mercy cap by Arena before the ’06 Cup to get him to 100 …. where he looked pretty bad.

    I’m not saying we should do testimonial matches per se, but it isn’t going to destroy the program to let McBride slip the colors on again and give him a 15 minute run out in the Poland match.

  16. There is nothing to fear except fear itself, and McBride.

    When Charlie Daniels outplayed the devil, he immediately gave the golden fiddle to McBride.

  17. Was sitting behind the Rochester Rhinos goal when McBribe had a breakaway and was pounding down the field with nobody between him and our keeper. Just thought to myself, boy am I glad that I’m sitting here versus trying to stop his shot!!! Will remember the look on his face forever!!!!


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