BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Last week former US national team forward Brian McBride announced that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2010 MLS season thus bringing an end to one of the most accomplished careers in American soccer history.
McBride turned professional in 1994 after a four year NCAA career with the University of Saint Lous in which he scored 72 goals in 89 appearances for the Billikens. He would then sign for the minor league Milwaukee Rampage but would only remain there for one season.
Later in 1994, McBride would play for his first of four European teams when he signed with VfL Wolfsburg who were then in the German second division. He would struggle for playing time there and would return back to the United States to play for the Columbus Crew in the inaugural season of MLS.
McBride would stay with the Crew through 2004 but would go out on loan twice to England during his time there. In 2000 he would play Preston North End under coach David Moyes. At Preston McBride would suffer an injury that would result in a serious blood clot as well as a rib removal.
Two years later in 2003, Moyes would move to Everton and acquired McBride again on loan for a second half season push. McBride would score four times for Everton down the stretch in what was considered a success in his very brief time with the club.
McBride's time with Everton would set the stage for his move to Fulham in 2004 where he would enjoy immense success with the Cottagers. He would score 40 times in English Premier League play for Fulham and was named the team's captain in 2007.
In 2008, McBride's play at the end of the season for Fulham elevated him into near legendary status with the club. After he returned from an injury, McBride led the team's dramatic push to avoid relegation.
Following his heroics with Fulham in 2008, McBride returned to the MLS to play in his hometown with the Chicago Fire. Between his time with the Crew and the Fire, he has scored a total of 78 goals in MLS play.
McBride's national team career with the United States is also very accomplished. He is a veteran of three World Cups and has scored three times in the tournaments. His two goals at the 2002 World Cup in the victories over Portugal in group play and Mexico in the round of 16 are considered two of the biggest goals in the history of the US program.
It is unclear what McBride's future plans will be in the game after his playing career ends this season but he did indicate while coaching was not in his immediate plans he does want to stay involved in the game.
Whether it be with the Crew, the Fire, Fulham, or the US national team, McBride will end his career with unparalleled popularity among the fans and his teammates at wherever he played. His accomplishments with the US national team and in England will rank him among the great Americans to have ever played the game.