Brian McBride Profile
|Born||Jun 19, 1972|
|Birthplace||Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA|
A star of MLS, Premier League and USMNT soccer in years gone by, Brian McBride made a significant impact as a player. Now general manager of USMNT, he's still playing a part in growing the US game.
Brian McBride is an American retired soccer player who played for clubs in the USA, England and Germany as well as the United States national team. He began his career playing for Milwaukee Rampage in Wisconsin before a short stint with German club Wolfsburg. He returned to the USA in 1996 to join MLS side Columbus Crew and played there for eight years before making the move to England.
McBride joined Fulham in 2004, having already experienced English football with loan spells at Preston North End and Everton. He enjoyed nearly five years with the West London club, scoring 33 Premier League goals, before moving back to the States to see out his playing days with Chicago Fire. He was a fans' favourite at most clubs he played for due to a superb work ethic and the fact he was never afraid to get stuck in when it mattered.
He earned 95 caps for the United States national side, scoring 30 goals and was part of the side that won the 2002 Gold Cup. He played in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups and came out of international retirement to feature for the USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Brian McBride and his early years
Born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, McBride attended Saint Louis University and set records during his four seasons playing for the college's soccer team, the Billikens. He started 89 games, scoring 72 goals and recording 40 assists while being named as a 1993 first-team All American. He was also named Most Valuable Player of the Great Midwest Conference three years in a row and included in the All-Conference first team.
He started out playing in goal at high school but it soon became obvious that his future lay in trying to score goals rather than stopping them and he soon switched to playing striker.
After graduating in 1993, McBride joined minor league club Milwaukee Rampage the following year and turned heads with his prowess in front of goal. He scored 17 goals and assisted another 18 in just 18 games for the club. While with Rampage, he played alongside Tony Sanneh, who went on to have an illustrious MLS career and make many appearances for the USA team.
Wolfsburg and returning to America
McBride opted to move overseas and joined German club Wolfsburg in 1994. They were playing in the second tier of German football at the time and he linked up with a number of young American players at the club. Chad Deering, Claudio Reyna and Mike Lapper were also on the books.
He struggled to find any real form while at Wolfsburg, scoring just two goals in 18 appearances. He made one notable contribution, however, scoring in a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich's reserve team in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) quarter-finals. They reached the final of the competition that season but McBride was not selected to play in the showpiece match.
He opted to leave the club at the end of the campaign and, with the creation of Major League Soccer back in the States, decided to move 'home' to sign for Columbus Crew in 1996. It was during eight years playing at the Mapfre Stadium that McBride began to show his true skills as a forward. He was the first overall pick of the MLS Inaugural Draft and he hit the ground running, scoring 17 goals from 28 outings in his first season.
He never again matched that tally for a single season but ended up finding the net 62 times from 161 league games. He also provided 45 assists and is regarded as one of the club's best-ever players. In 2011, the club honoured McBride by naming him the inaugural member of its 'Circle of Honor'. He ended his time with Columbus in 2003 and signed off by netting 12 times from 24 appearances that year.
In 2005 he was named in the MLS All-Time Best XI and it was no surprise when he made the decision to try his luck in the English game.
Joining the Premier League with Fulham
It was during his time with Columbus that McBride gained his first taste of English football as he enjoyed loan spells with Preston and Everton. He was signed by Preston manager David Moyes in 2000 but played just nine times, scoring one goal, due to injury. Having been involved in a heavy collision during his first game for the Deepdale club, he later had to undergo surgery to have a blood clot removed from his arm. The operation also involved having a rib removed and he was out of action for some time. Preston tried to purchase his contract outright but did not offer MLS enough money.
By 2002, Moyes had moved to Everton and, with his side on a poor run of form, he enquired about bringing McBride to Goodison Park to help out. He signed on January 6, 2002 and scored four goals from eight games to justify his manager's faith. Everton did not try to buy McBride but an attempt to extend his loan period failed.
The seeds were sown, however, and he had no hesitation in joining Fulham when then manager Chris Coleman made enquiries. He signed in January 2004, with his contact running until the end of the 2005/06 campaign. He played 18 times during the second half of 2003/04, scoring five goals.
The next three seasons saw him become a regular first-team player and, while never a prolific goalscorer, he did find the net while contributing many assists. He managed 33 goals from 144 Premier League outings and another eight in cup competitions.
In March 2006, he signed a one-year contract extension and ended the 2006/07 campaign as the club's top goalscorer with 12.
Injury struck early in the following season, as he dislocated his kneecap during a match with Middlesbrough on August 18, 2007. He was not included in a matchday squad until February 2008 but was still named the club's Player of the Year.
In May 2008, McBride announced that he would be leaving to move back to America. He was a popular figure at the west London club and had a bar at Craven Cottage named after him.
McBride moved back to the States in 2008 and signed for Chicago Fire after the club had traded with Toronto FC for top spot in the allocation order for players returning to MLS. He made his debut on August 18, 2008, scoring his first goal against Houston Dynamo. He found the net five times during the rest of the 2008 campaign, but missed out on playing in the MLS final after his side were knocked out by Columbus in the Eastern Conference Championship.
He played 46 times over the next two years with the Fire, scoring seven goals in 2009 and six the following season. He scored twice from three outings in the North American SuperLiga in 2009 and was a popular player at Soldier Field.
On September 3, 2010, at the age of 38, McBride announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. He scored his 80th MLS goal during his final match for Chicago and left the field to a standing ovation after being substituted against Chivas USA.
Over two spells in MLS with Columbus and Chicago, McBride established himself as one of the best players of his generation and is fondly remembered by fans of those two clubs.
Brian McBride and Wembley
In June 2012, aged 40, McBride agreed to join a number of former professionals to play for North London club Wembley FC in the preliminary rounds of the 2012/13 FA Cup. Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Danny Dichio (England), Claudio Caniggia (Argentina) and Jaime Moreno (Bolivia) all signed up for the project while former England manager Terry Venables acted as a technical advisor. David Seaman came in as goalkeeping coach while Ugo Ehiogu also joined to play.
Budweiser had taken over as sponsors of the FA Cup and decided to sponsor Wembley as well, leading to the big-name stars of yesteryear being recruited to play.
Things began well for the hastily-assembled squad as they beat Bedfordshire club Langford but, after forcing a replay with Uxbridge in the next round, they were knocked out by the Reds.
McBride's international career
McBride received his first call-up to the United States side in 1993 but did not feature in the 1994 World Cup in his homeland. He was not a regular in the side until 1996, when he started to see some game time with the Stars and Stripes. He was part of the USA squad that reached the final of the 1998 Gold Cup, but played just a peripheral role in that tournament, with three substitute appearances. He was brought on for the last eight minutes of the final but could not prevent Mexico from sealing a 1-0 triumph.
He continued to be selected and made the 1998 World Cup squad, playing 90 minutes against Iran and Yugoslavia after missing the first group match with Germany. He scored his first World Cup goal against Iran but it was a disappointing tournament for the Americans, who lost all three group matches.
McBride was regular starter in the 1999 Confederations Cup and the 2000 Gold Cup but he made only sporadic appearances in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. It was during that year that he picked up his only silverware with his nation, winning the 2002 Gold Cup by beating Costa Rica in the final. He scored a hat-trick in the quarter-final clash with El Salvador.
McBride was selected to play in the 2002 World Cup and started all five games as the USA reached the quarter-finals. He scored twice in the tournament - against Portugal and Mexico, before they were eliminated by Germany.
He appeared regularly as the Americans qualified for the 2006 World Cup and started all three games of the German event. It was a disappointing tournament for the Stars and Stripes who gained just one point and were eliminated after the group stage. McBride needed stitches in his face after being elbowed by Daniele De Rossi in the 1-1 draw with Italy.
He retired after that tournament having scored 30 goals from 95 appearances for the USA. However, he was not done yet and was named general manager of the US team in January 2020.
McBride married Dina Lundstrom in 2002 and the couple have three daughters. He established the Brian McBride Soccer Academy which is based in Lake Zurich, Illinois, close to where he grew up. He was inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014.
His role with the national side includes helping nurture relationships with young US stars playing abroad so they are not lost to the national setup.
About his current job, he said: "It's about trying to build relationships early, not only with the player, but with their parents, getting them to understand our view of the pathway so when they make a decision they have a clear view of our goals."