McBride's 2010 Decision: Exploring a few possibilities

Chicago Fire v CD Chivas USA

Wondering how the recent moves of Chris Rolfe and Bakary Soumare to Europe will impact Brian McBride's offseason decision? Well, I asked the 37-year-old McBride - who is in the last year of his contract with the Fire - just that question after the Fire's practice last Thursday. Here is what the Arlington Heights native had to say...

"I don't know. I think the main thing for me right now is to focus on these last six games and then the playoffs," he said. "I think that the organization wants to make all of those decisions later on so I'm not going to focus on them right now. I'm just focused on doing whatever I can to help the team."

OK, so that quote isn't exactly illuminating. But the way I see things McBride has three options heading into this offseason - pen a new deal with the Fire, retire, or return to Europe to finish his playing career. Here's some early analysis on the likelihood of each of those three options...

**Return to the Fire -**

Ok, so first things first here: if McBride does choose to return to MLS for the 2010 season, I can't see it being with any other team than the Fire. Why? Well, McBride grew up in Chicago and he is a pretty committed family man and I doubt he would want to relocate/leave his family to play in another MLS market.

That said I'm not sure if I see the 37-year-old McBride coming back to play another season for the Fire. I would suspect that Frank Klopas would rather use his limited cap space for the retention of the services of a younger player (say Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Segares or Wilman Conde...) and the Fire may not have the necessary cash to ink McBride (who won't come cheaply) to a new deal. However, if the Fire does lose any of the previously mentioned younger players, I would think that the team would make a big push to bring McBride back...

**Go back to Europe -**

If McBride doesn't get the 'right' deal from the Fire (something that's entirely possible...) yet he finds himself unable to call it quits, I think the only logical move for him would be to attempt head back to Europe. I would think that his former club - Fulham FC of the English Premier League - would have him back in a heartbeat (I mean the man is a complete legend at the club, [he even has a pub named after him at Craven Cottage]( and if McBride chooses to go back to Europe, it's a safe bet that FFC would be his first choice.

However, I think this option is the long shot of the bunch. I would be very surprised if McBride decided to say bye-bye to MLS and head over to Europe. I mean, he did only come back from 'over there' a little more than a year ago...

**Retire -**

Before I get into any in-depth analysis here, I need to say something: Brian McBride, without any doubt, still has the necessary skill and stamina to play soccer at a very high level in 2010. However, I believe that if he doesn't come across a deal that is right for him, that he will call it quits. I mean the guy doesn't have anything left to prove in the game and when the time is right, the time is right...

**My (early) guess at what McBride will do -**

I'm thinking Brian will retire at the conclusion of this year. Contributing factors will be the Fire heading into more of a 'rebuilding' season and the lack of a desire to return to Europe/play for any other MLS team. It would be a shame for the Fire to lose McBride though, as not only does he provide great play on the field but he is a fantastic guy to have in the locker room and in the training grounds.

We'll have to wait until December (when McBride said he will announce what he will be doing in 2010) to see if this early prediction comes true. But if you feel like killing some time between now and then, feel free to speculate away on what you think McBride will do...


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  • hey, let's name him new coach! anyone but hamlett...
    or we could put him in Kolpas's position and let him destroy his reputation himself. (BTW, what the heck is a technical director supposed to do?)
    I have no idea where he'll go.
    Sam-If we're losing Blanco, doesn't that mean we can make a push for Pappa and McBride?

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    Nothing is official on Blanco yet, but if the Fire does lose him they should certainly make a push for those players.

    However, because Blanco is a DP, only $415,000 of his nearly $3 million salary counts against the cap. So they can use the $415,000 to go out and resign players, but the extra $2.5 million really wouldn't be available for that purpose.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    This just in about Blanco:

    That said, I want the Fire to do what's right and resign Brian to a one or two year deal. He deserves to retire a Fire, and if he comes back, we may have a chance to sign players to make a run at the title.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    The salary cap must go up if not make 2 designated player spots. It would make a lot of ppl happy getting to star players to work with one another...

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    I love McBride and I respect Blanco for what he has brought the club. He has made the club alot of money and fills seats. That being said, both players are a couple years from being 40 years old. Do we really want both of them back? Blanco looks like the deformed guy in the movie 300 that tells the Persians how to get them. If we had to pick one of the 2, Blanco fills more seats than McBride and McBride gives us a better chance at winning games. With the CBA being up this year the salary cap HAS to go up somewhat. I bet it goes up to around 4.5 mil which would leave roughly 2 mil extra for players. I think we should let Blanco go to some crap team in Mexico and make McBride the DP for 1 year and focus on signing the players that have a future at the club (Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Segares or Wilman Conde).

  • I think the Fire should name McBride a player-coach for next season. That way he could follow the path Jason Kreis did in Salt Lake City. Also, the Fire would save some money by paying him as both and would probably have more to spend on more players.

  • He won't be back, the Fire aren't committed to him. Kind of like they weren't to Chris.

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