McBride: I'm not bigger than anyone
Prior to Saturday night’s match against D.C. United, the
last time Fire forward Brian McBride came off the bench was August 16, 2008. That
was McBride’s first game with the Fire, and he came on as a halftime
Since then, McBride has played in 45 games with Chicago, 44
of them as a starter. Last week was the lone exception, as McBride came off the
bench in the 75th minute only to notch an assist and goal in the
Fire’s 2-0 road victory over D.C.
“I will do whatever for this team,” McBride said after
practice on Tuesday. “I’m not bigger than anyone. The whole group is one and I
think it’s important that we’re all together so I’m not going to have a problem
with whatever the coach wants me to do. I know what I can do and [I] believe in
myself, but you’re not going to get any problems from me or any controversial
statement. I’m a player and I need to be a part of this team.”
Part of the reason for McBride’s benching was the Fire’s
switch from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1 set up. Head coach Carlos de los Cobos
chose to start Collins John as the lone forward instead, but was quick to
defray any hint of a problem with his resident superstar.
“[McBride] is very professional,” de los Cobos said. “I speak
with him before the match and he understands. He’s a very disciplined player. He
shows this when he goes into the match. He makes a big difference. When he is
on the field he creates opportunities and ... his presence was very good for
De los Cobos said that he didn’t yet know whether or not he
would start McBride in this weekend’s match against Houston. Either way, it’s
fair to expect McBride to begin a few more games on the bench this year.
De los Cobos has said that he prefers a 4-1-4-1 and McBride doesn’t
appear at this point to be the automatic first-choice at striker. Given his
37-year-old legs, the occasional rest might not be such a bad thing.