FOX Soccer Exclusive
Brian McBride: Soccer here to stay in US
Legendary American soccer star Brian McBride is in the FOX Soccer studio this week and will add his unique insight to the world game. Tune in to Match Day and Goals On Sunday before and after the Barclay’s Premier League and Champions League games to hear what he has to say about all the action on the field.
McBride needs little introduction. Not many Americans can lay claim to having a bar at a fabled Premiership soccer ground named after him – but this man can. A true American soccer pioneer, McBride was the first player ever drafted by MLS, became an international star at Fulham in England, and is in third place on the US’s all-time scoring list with 30 goals in 95 appearances.
McBride sat down to talk with us off-camera about the national team, his former club and where he thinks the American game is today.
“I think we’re going in the right direction here in the US,” said McBride. “The game is growing and people are now thinking of this as a long-term part of American sports. We know the league is here to stay and we’re talking about developing players and a style of play.”
McBride admits he misses lacing up his cleats but thinks the US is in good hands.
“I think what Jurgen Klinsmann and US Soccer are doing right now with the national team is great. We’re no longer just talking about winning; we’re talking about winning and developing a system and playing attractive soccer.
You have to say that guys like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are doing great for us, and on top of that, we’re seeing a lot of good young players get chances."
Michael Bradley has been very impressive — I thought his game in our match against Italy was one of the best I have ever seen, and showed how much he has grown. The way he read that game was just amazing.”
His old club is never far from his heart, either. He’s paid close attention to what’s gone on this season.
“Fulham will always have a huge place in my heart. I have so many great memories from there and just to be part of the club’s history is amazing. I think that period where the guys had to gel under Martin Jol is over,” added McBride.
“Now we’re able to come out and really fly. There’s not a ton left to play for this year, but Clint has had a great year, and the important thing is that we stay focused and get in a groove so we can build on it for next season. Monday’s game against United is going to be tough, but we can do it.”
And that bar? McBride’s at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium is both a destination for thirsty fans and a singular honor. No other American player has ever enjoyed such recognition.
“Having that named after me is such an amazing honor,” says McBride, “But I saw Clint after the Italy game and I told him they’d soon change the name to Dempsey’s!”
Today, McBride lives just outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, where he has just launched McBride’s Attacking Soccer Academy. He will be hosting summer camps for kids and players looking to raise their game.
“I just wanted to provide young players with the same kind of attacking coaching I got, and have them get the help and practice any attacker needs.”
Jamie Trecker is the senior editor for FOXSoccer.com covering the UEFA Champions League and the Barclays Premier League.