Saturday, October 16, 2010. The sun will rise in Chicago just as it continues to set on the storied career of local legend Brian McBride.
Today, October 15, 2010, we are going to attempt to pause that setting sun ever so slightly by turning back the clock. Let's hear your favorite 'Country' story on Brian McBride. His Buffalo Grove High School team? His days with the St. Louis University Billikens? The stint with the Milwaukee Rampage? Yes, yes, yes, and of course let's hear about his days wearing Chicago Fire Red. If you have a story about any other team, store that away for next Friday. With his last Chicago home game in less than 48 hours, it's time to talk about Brian McBride's games for his home. To start off with, we have Ryan Sealock from Iowa and then a favorite moment of mine is after the jump:
"I traveled to Chicago to catch the Fire game and the USMNT vs. Poland the following night. I brought a friend who is relatively new to soccer. Just the drive itself was fun, I spent most of the way explaining different aspects about soccer, the Chicago Fire, and of course Brian McBride.
As we got to Toyota Park early for the Section 8 tailgate, excitement buzzed in the air. I absolutely couldn't wait to get in the gates and see my Fire and Brian. My friend was also getting more and more excited as light turned into night. We sat in the corner near Section 8 in the first row. My friend was surprised at how amazing and fun the game was. I remember watching Brian specifically, just admiring every movement, pass, dribble, and action he took. When the cross entered the box shortly after halftime, I saw McBride play the ball. He positioned himself perfectly, and buried the shot in the back of the net. I remember both my friend and I cheering loudly, with me yelling over and over, "The Legend! The Legend!". We then gave Brian a standing ovation, as he performed his customary celebration of kissing his wedding ring. I will always remember that moment, not only because it may be his last career goal, but because, even though I don't get a chance to make Fire games regularly due to where I live, I was there to see a legend score a goal and remind me of why I love the sport, the Fire, and Brian McBride."
My own story is about the picture above from the April 17th game this year when the Chicago Fire were playing against D.C. United. It was my very first road trip to a Chicago Fire game and I had gathered a bunch of Chicago friends currently living in the District to come along for the fun. While they might have had Fire in their heart, they did not have it on the tip of their tongues in the beginning. In my friends' defense, some of them had never even been to a soccer game and the first 75 minutes were pretty dull. Everyone got a little more vocal as the game went on until Brian McBride was subbed into the game. At that point all Fire fans took a collective breath and were made silent for a brief second as Brian McBride took over the game.
Leading a charge down the field, McBride set up the movement that led to Patrick Nyarko having the ball on the wing at the 4:40 mark of this video. Nyarko crossed the ball into the box, McBride had a slight touch pass to Marco Pappa and Pappa slammed home the ball to make it 1-0 Chicago Fire. I went berserk and joined the line of Fire fans in the traditional goal celebration. I accidentally punched a former President of Section 8... but what could he do? In his words, "Don't worry, it's part of the games!". We had barely broken up the line when McBride headed in a goal of his own off a long kick from Andrew Dykstra - total jubilation and pandemonium hit our small band of Fire. As we walked out that of the stadium, RFK rang with the madness of Fire fans chanting "Our House - In the Middle of D.C."
I might not remember everything about other Chicago Fire road trips I go on, but I'll never forget the great time I had on my first one. Thank you Brian McBride and thank you for representing Chicago proud.