September 2010

A Word on Brian McBride, and On-the-Spot Writing of the Week

It’s been quite a week folks. Before I get to soccer writing this week that was “on the spot”, a brief aside to discuss one happening that we at The Yanks Are Coming would be a failure to not mention.

As most of you all know by now, legendary American striker Brian McBride stepped away from the game last Friday. It was a truly sad day, a rare day where sport and sadness and the murky waters of memory come together and demand a moment of reflection. Although I can’t imagine soccer without Brian McBride involved in some capacity, I can safely say it was the first truly emotional retirement of a former US international for me and many others. And I say this with all due respect to Cobi Jones, among many others, and all Cobi meant to US Soccer, which is a great deal. McBride is that large a figure. His specter haunts US strikers today, and his performances continue to be the high-water mark among American goal scorers. He did this without world-class talent, without blazing speed, without overwhelming physical strength. It was work-ethic and want-to. Perhaps that’s why even before South Africa one of the patented world views, fair or unfair, of the American football player was that, regardless of talent, they played the game with grit, with courage, and with a never-back-down attitude.

Indeed, no singular figure defined this image of what being an American player was all about than Brian McBride—he of the bloodied face, jersey always dirty, and pure leave-it-all-on-the-field guts. We’ll miss you Brian. We’ve already missed you. Thank you for always answering the bell. Best in your retirement.

Onto the links:

Speaking of Brian McBride—two pieces capture what I briefly attempted to better. The first comes from our friends at The Shin Guardian.

Writing his own homage to McBride, Matthew decided the best way to talk about his “goodbye” was simply to revisit some of the gutty American’s defining moments. Wonderful reading.

Meanwhile, Match Fit USA’s David Hammons takes a trip down memory lane with his own tribute and look back at McBride’s illustrious and groundbreaking career.

Something is rotten in the city of Turin, or at least at the storied soccer club Juventus FC. Kevin McCauley of All Things Footy takes a hard look at what’s the matter with the Old Lady in this fine piece.

Our friends at the Free Beer Movement may have “given up on being great web-based soccer writers”, but no one can write a “Get on the Damn Bus” and support Bob Bradley piece better.

Finally, Oliver Sparrow of A Football Report writes, with at least a tinge of frustration-dipped brilliant regret about England’s fine performance against Switzerland that (almost) made fans of the Three Lions forget about South Africa. At the very least, Sparrow is certain that this wasn’t the England team we saw this summer, and fans can thank Steven Gerrard and his masterful play for this. He’s the jam in Capello’s swiss-roll.

That’s all for this week. More next week. Stay tuned to Yanks Are Coming the rest of the week as we continue our “Teams we Love with Players We Loathe” series, which began yesterday with this piece about Everton’s Tim Cahill.

Neil W. Blackmon is a Co-Founder and the Associate Editor of The Yanks are Coming. He can be reached at or you can find him on Twitter at @nwb_usmnt.

Neil W. Blackmon

  • Amy

    The McBride videos on the Shin Guardian piece were amazing. Still think the goal against El Tri was the biggest goal in the history of US Soccer, with all due respect to Landon Donovan and to Paul Caliguiri.

  • Hey guys.. thanks for the appreciation! Keep up the good work!

  • Brian McBride. That’s one hard dude, one that made me prouder to be American with his play on the pitch than just about any other Yank. He’s also a big part of the Americans captaining European clubs movement, and rightfully so. Drinking at McBride’s in Craven Cottage would be on my bucket list if I had one.