Every soccer fan in the United States has heard of Brian McBride, the American that showed that U.S. could play soccer at the top level in Europe. With his signature No. 20 jersey, he wowed fans at Fulham and the US National Team. Brian was and is the best scorer that America has had so far.
McBride, now 36, showed that he could become a top-class player in high school when he led his school to the Illinois state championship in 1988. Eventually, he went to Saint Louis University and set records for the most goals, assists, and total points. His career was getting off on the right foot, and it was soon to get better.
After playing briefly with minor leagues in the States and for Vfl Wolfsburg in Germany's second division, he came back to play for the Columbus Crew in the MLS's debut season in 1996. It was here that he established himself as a goal scoring machine, scoring 62 goals in his eight years at the club, a club record that still stands.
In 2000, McBride got the big break he wanted and went to play in England. He was loaned out to Preston North End where he had to regretfully sit out most of the season with a blood clot.
Two years later, Everton's manager David Moyes, Preston's manager while McBride was at the club, called upon McBride's services again. McBride had a terrific season with Everton, scoring on his debut for the club. McBride went on to score four goals in eight games that season.
Soon, McBride was transferred again—this time to Fulham. Like he did for Everton, he scored on his debut for Fulham. He had the best time of his career at Fulham. He scored over five goals every season he was with Fulham. In the 2006-2007 season, McBride was Fulham's top goal scorer with 12 goals to his name, and was named Fulham's Player of the Year.
In August of 2007, he was made captain of Fulham. Although the 2007/2008 season proved to be the best season of his career, it was cut short by injury. For the rest of his time at Fulham, he would only come on as a substitute.
In May of 2008, McBride announced he was leaving Fulham and going back to the MLS. He was quickly picked up by the Chicago Fire, his hometown club.
McBride also had a brilliant international career. He made his international debut in 1993 and his World Cup debut in 1998. He went on to earn 95 caps for his country and score 20 goals. After the 2006 World Cup, he announced his retirement from international duty. However, he was convinced to rejoin the national team for his first ever Olympics.
What's next for Brian McBride, the American that wowed the Fulham faithful? With his new club the Chicago Fire, and his duties at the Olympics, McBride hopes to close out his successful career.
I thank McBride for all those goals and entertaining games he gave Americans. I wish him the best in his career.