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updated: 1/29/2013 4:43 PM

Now retired, McBride still gets his kicks from soccer

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  • Brian McBride, the Arlington Heights native who traveled the world as a key member of the U.S. National soccer team, is still giving back to the game. His soccer academy is training the next generation of players, and he's a part of the Fox Soccer broadcast team for games in Europe.

       Brian McBride, the Arlington Heights native who traveled the world as a key member of the U.S. National soccer team, is still giving back to the game. His soccer academy is training the next generation of players, and he's a part of the Fox Soccer broadcast team for games in Europe.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Chicago Fire striker Brian McBride closed out his MLS career in 2010, but he hasn't left the game completely. The Arlington Heights native runs a soccer academy and works as a broadcaster with Fox Soccer, and says he would be interested in coaching at some point.

      Chicago Fire striker Brian McBride closed out his MLS career in 2010, but he hasn't left the game completely. The Arlington Heights native runs a soccer academy and works as a broadcaster with Fox Soccer, and says he would be interested in coaching at some point.
    Associated Press/2010 file

  • Forward Brian McBride, right, played three seasons with the Chicago Fire before he retired in the fall of 2010. He now runs a soccer academy and works as a color analyst for Fox Soccer broadcasts.

      Forward Brian McBride, right, played three seasons with the Chicago Fire before he retired in the fall of 2010. He now runs a soccer academy and works as a color analyst for Fox Soccer broadcasts.
    Associated Press/2008 file

 
 

Brian McBride walks briskly into a local Starbucks, fresh from a workout, his familiar broad smile beaming.

Retirement seems to agree with him.

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McBride still looks as fit as he did in his playing days, he says his health is good despite the target opposing defenders seemed to see on him in games, and he's still involved in soccer, frequently flying to Los Angeles for Fox Soccer's broadcasts of Champions League and Europa League games during the European season.

"It's been great," said McBride, who retired after the 2010 MLS season. "I know this year I've traveled a lot, but the first year and a half was great. I was home with my family a lot and able to do a lot with my kids and my wife. I'm retired, I still want to have a second career, and hopefully that will be involved in soccer."

TV work has challenged McBride again, and he's embracing the challenge.

"That part has been a good learning experience for me. It's ever-changing, how you prepare yourself, and I probably over prepared early on and had too many thoughts in my head. But as I go along, hopefully I'm getting better and better and I'm enjoying it," he said.

In the summer he'll get on local soccer fields to run youth camps around the suburbs for McBride's Attacking Soccer Academy (mcbridesacademy.com), which he's still building from the ground up.

"It's been growing in the summer time, and I've had some quality kids, which is a lot of fun," McBride said. "I enjoy the coaching aspect of it. That side of it is something I'll always be passionate about, for sure. If I get a chance to continue to grow it. I think this way it's continually growing slowly, rather than going just gangbusters, then I have another career."

Few Americans are as qualified to teach attacking soccer. McBride played in three World Cups for the U.S. national team, scoring 30 goals in 95 international appearances. He had so much success with English Premier League side Fulham, the club named its stadium pub for him.

The man knows how to put a soccer ball in the back of a net.

"What I'm trying to provide is just that better understanding and that different dynamic of the drills being at a higher pace than they're used to," he said. "It requires you to have a little more of a solid base of what you're doing."

McBride is directly involved at his camps, with help from some current and former college players.

"I'm out there every day doing the drills and serving balls, getting that little niche taken care of," he said.

Then there's yet another second-career possibility for him, one he thinks about but isn't acting on yet.

"I'd love to coach a professional team," he said. "Being involved in the professional side for so long and being involved with a lot of very, very good coaches, you always take things away, the good and the bad. ...

"If something comes up, I'll look at it, but right now this is the direction I'm taking. It's been a good learning process."

And then it's time for him to go pick up one of his daughters at school. With a handshake and another smile, he's on his way again. Brian McBride is not taking retirement lying down.

Follow Orrin's soccer reports on Twitter @orrin_schwarz.

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