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Brian McBride's home farewell to take place Saturday when Chicago Fire faces D.C. United

Brian McBride, one of American soccer's most honorable and accomplished players, will be honored in pregame, halftime and postgame festivities Saturday when the Chicago Fire hosts D.C. United -- McBride's final match at Toyota Park (Telefutura, Comcast SportsNet/DC, 4 p.m. ET). He will close his career next weekend at Chivas USA.

After tomorrow's game, McBride will address fans from midfield and be joined by his family as the Fire present him with a gift.

McBride began his MLS career with the Columbus Crew and, after 4 1/2 standout years with English club Fulham, returned to his home state in July 2008 to play for the Fire. For the U.S. national team, he played in three World Cups, scoring three goals, and claimed third place on the career scoring list (30) behind Landon Donovan (45) and Eric Wynalda (34).

United players and coaches will witness tearful goodbyes on consecutive weekends: McBride tomorrow and teammate Jaime Moreno next Saturday at RFK Stadium. Before departing for Chicago today, DCU interim coach Ben Olsen said of McBride: "Great person, great teammate, great ambassador for U.S. soccer. I was lucky to share the field with him [on the national team]. It was always nice to see him up top when you were on the field because he was so opportunistic and you knew you were going to get a full 90 minutes of him dying for his team and for his teammates."

On a lighter note, he added: "It seemed like he was always bleeding. He always had a bump on his head. He would put his head into dangerous spots against some dangerous defenders. He didn't leave the game because of them, that's for sure."

Share your McBride memories in the comments section.....

By Steve Goff  | October 15, 2010; 2:21 PM ET
Categories:  MLS, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  MLS  
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Comments

On bucket list:

Have a Bud Light at McBride's in Craven Cottage.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 15, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

McBride would put his head through a guillotine if it meant getting the ball. He's my favorite USMNT player.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 15, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

March, 2008, the one and only goal in a Fulham home win against Everton. It was McBride's first goal since dislocating his knee cap in August '07. It was also my first visit to Craven Cottage, I've been hooked ever since.

Posted by: FulhamDC | October 15, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

brian mcbride is a legend. he was true class, and he had heart enough for a whole team. much respect.

Posted by: dfunkt | October 15, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Was at the home opener for Fulham in 2007 when McBride was captain. A thrill to see him leading the team out, a horror to watch him stretchered off.

Posted by: seantipton | October 15, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

On bucket list:

1. See Seven Wonders of the World
2. Avoid drinking Bud Light.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | October 15, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Joel - why a Bud light?!?

So long Brian - thanks for the memories...

Posted by: frescova | October 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

While avoiding Bud Light I like to remember McBride's goal against Guatemala in that difficult WCQ 1-0 win at RFK. I believe it was before the Hex stage but we still really needed to win at home. As I remember it was after Eddie Lewis got redcarded for tossing an elbow and McBride had his shinguard busted by the defender's attempt to keep him from getting onto Cobijones' cross.

Also McBride coming off with his eye swollen closed against El Tri in Columbus as well as getting his face busted open by Daniele de Rossi in the '06 World Cup. Heart of a lion but he bled worse than Rocky Balboa.

Anyone remember him tearing up DC United back in year 1 when United was looking like it might be the worst team in the new league?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | October 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I always played defense or keeper as a player in my former playing days and never really admired too many forwards. But, McBride, I can say he's the first forward that I ever thought played like a goalkeeper. What I mean is, he'd worry about getting the ball first and worry about taking the hit second. I always admired that.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | October 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

My favorite McBride memory goes with the absolute wars between the Crew and DCU in the 90's. But for DCU, the Crew, led by the classy and wonderful Tom Fitzgerald, would be the ones with the website, "We win trophies."

In '99, back when MLS had those best-of-3 conference round series, DCU took a one-game lead into Columbus for game two on a crisp Sunday afternoon. DCU got positively smoked by the forward tandem of McBride and Stern John, arguably the best forward combo in MLS history.

After the game, it was commented to the Great Rongini that DCU was lucky that the series was not a two-agregate.

DCU returned home the next weekend and smoked the Crew back in what is arguably the greatest DCU games played at RFK to win the Eastern conference and advance to MLS Cup '99.

Both teams are not nearly what they used to be. We all know the DCU story, but the Crew, under the classless leadership of Brian Bliss (a bald-headed Kasper?), has become a whining, preening, excuse-making side unworthy of the tremendous legacy left by Fitz, in spite of sporting one of the league's better records in recent years.

Posted by: lgm6986 | October 15, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

A few years ago football365.com had a feature on the hard men of football. McBride featured, with a list of the places he had put his head where others would not have and a photo of him calmly walking off the pitch after that Italian had mashed his nose for him at the WC. The comment was that he never showed pain, and the only mark against him as a "hard man" was that he never dished out the punishment he absorbed.

Posted by: glfrazier | October 15, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Brian McBride was my childhood hero. I've always loved United, but he was my favorite MLS player during his stint in Columbus.

Posted by: Sunspot | October 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Olsen-McBride 2011

(Olsen as coach, McBride as GM)

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 15, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I was in the stands at Craven Cottage when McBride scored and dislocated his knee cap. Nearly had tears in my eyes as the whole crowd chanted USA. A legend and one of my favorite players of all time.

Posted by: grubbsbl | October 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Two words describe Brian McBride: ruthless and winner.. No matter how hard he was hit, no matter bad the knock the SOB never budged, never changed his game. He put his body in positions that few would have and more often than not was sucessful. Aside from Reyna and Friedel he might be the most respect Yank abroad. For heaven sakes the man has a pub named after him at Craven Cottage. That's a cool as anything.

As for my favorite McBride moment, it was his goal against Portugal in WC '02. It was a classic McBride goal laying all-out to reach a brilliant cross from Sanneh to pus us up 3-0. It proved to vital as the momentum swung Portugal's way and we had to hold on for dear life. My favorite Fulham moment was on his return from the dislocated knee cap. Many thought he was dead and buried in a Fulham uniform after that. Craven Cottage absolutely erupted when his popped up off the subs bench and the place nearly exploded when he entered the match. It gave me chills down my spine. McBride is a Fulham and US legend and I'm proud to call him my favorite player of all-time.

Posted by: MichaelVann7 | October 15, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the gentlemanly goal celebration: kiss the wedding ring and point to the teammate who passed the ball.

Fulham's tribute

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 15, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

My favorite moment: McBride scoring against Iran, signing the cross and lifting eyes to heaven. Pure class competitor.

Posted by: RRP1 | October 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I've said before, and will for a long time, the 02 World Cup really got me into our national team, and especially remember his goal against Mexico. There are a couple of great YouTube vids on him, spending more time showing the shots he took to his body than the shots he took with his feet or head.

Thank ya much, Mr. McBride.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 15, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever asked Zakuani about his citizenship desires?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | October 15, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I remember the 2006 World Cup match in K-town with the USA facing Italy. Di Rossi gives a ruthless elbow to McBride's head opening a bloody gash. McBride kept playing unfazed. What a warrior. And the goal against Portugal still gives me goosebumps.

Posted by: SoccerGuru | October 15, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Love McBride for the NATS the man was a savage!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for the memories.

Posted by: francisco_11 | October 16, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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