BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- A surprise guest in the form of former Fire striker Brian McBride joined the first team at training on Thursday morning.
His presence there wasn’t as bystander, rather the legendary U.S. international striker was starting a part-time commitment working with Frank Yallop’s staff this season.
“I’ve been in contact with Brian for four months. We have a relationship away from the club so we’ve been chatting. [Fire owner] Andrew [Hauptman] put us together and when he had spare time in his schedule I said, ‘Why don’t you come out and see if you like the coaching side of things? See if you want to be involved more down the road?’”
Since retiring from the game at the end of the 2010 season with the Fire, McBride has run striker’s camps in the Chicago area as well as served as a pundit for Fox Sports 1’s UEFA Champions and Europa League coverage.
While he’ll continue his Fox commitments a lighter summer broadcast schedule will allow him to fill what he calls a ‘modest’ role, mainly helping the attackers at the club he ended his career with.
“I’m helping out in whatever capacity I can,” he told reporters after his first training session. “It’s very little but just a way for me to get back involved with the Fire but more importantly to help out. It’s going to be all about the staff and the guys and where I fit in, I’ll fit in.”
Despite his new role, McBride emphasized that he won’t be joining the team on the touchline anytime soon and hailed the experienced of the coaching staff.
“The fact that I know Frank from playing against him, playing against him when he’s coaching and then of course, playing with CJ and Clint, it seems like an easy fit. The staff is a fun staff, but also a good one where I can learn some things as I go along.”
“It’s good to have him out here with his boots on,” Yallop said. “He’s a Chicago guy and I think you can’t have enough quality people around any club. He’s a quality individual and a very good player. He has something to offer and I think we’d be foolish if we didn’t want to have Brian involved with us right now.”