BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – For all Brian McBride has given to US soccer, it’s only fitting that he gets a little something in return.
And a “little something in return” is exactly what McBride – who announced earlier this month that he’ll be retiring at the end of this season – will be getting during the US National Team’s Oct. 9 friendly against Poland at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
USMNT supporters’ group American Outlaws is organizing a fan tribute to the three-time World Cup vet, urging all fans planning on attending the Poland match to make McBride banners, learn McBride songs and even paint their faces to look to match the iconic image of a bloodied McBride at the 2006 World Cup.
When asked about the planned tribute, McBride’s response was typical of the always team-first former US legend.
“I didn’t know that but that's a very nice sentiment,” McBride told MLSsoccer.com. “But I'm no different than anybody else that has played for them.
“Yeah, I was fortunate enough to play a little bit longer than some and be involved in some great teams, but that game's about preparing. I'm sure [US head coach Bob Bradley] wants to make sure that he's preparing his team for the start of qualifying."
Of course, the fan tribute would be much more special if McBride – who retired from the international game after the 2006 World Cup – were actually on the field for the match. And while that’s unlikely, it might not be totally out of the question.
Bradley didn’t rule out giving the Chicago Fire forward an honorary cap in the Poland match when asked about the possibility at a press conference at Toyota Park last week.
“I need more time to think that through,” Bradley said. “Brian’s typically not interested in those kinds of things.”
Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.