It just made sense for both sides to get Brian McBride in Chicago Fire practice gear again.
McBride joined the Fire on the Toyota Park pitch for training Thursday, the start of a part-time role for one of the best soccer players the United States has produced.
"Just helping out in whatever capacity I can," said McBride, an Arlington Heights resident who retired from the Fire as a player following the 2010 season. "It's going to be very little, but just a way for me getting back involved with the Fire, but more importantly hopefully helping out."
Fire coach Frank Yallop said team owner Andrew Hauptman put him and McBride in touch.
"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,'" Yallop said. "See if you want to be involved more down the road. It's an opportunity for him to have a look-see and for us to obviously have a look-see.
"It's not a major commitment. It's part-time, but it's good to have him out here with his boots on and kit. He's a Chicago guy. And you can't have enough quality people around any club. ... He has something to offer, and we'd be foolish if we didn't want to have Brian involved with us right now."
With the European soccer seasons ending, McBride will get a break from his studio role with Fox Sports telecasts. An all-state performer at Buffalo Grove High School and all-American at Saint Louis University, McBride is also putting his local summer camps on hiatus to free up time for the Fire.
"It's something that I'm looking forward to," McBride said.
McBride will join Fire assistant coaches C.J. Brown and Clint Mathis in helping Yallop on the practice field. Mathis, also formerly a striker for the U.S. national team, will work with McBride primarily helping the Fire's attacking players.
"It's an easy fit," said McBride, who had 30 goals in 95 national team appearances. "It's a fun staff but also a good staff where I can also learn some things as I go along."
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