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Brian McBride Reflects On Europe, USA and MLS

Brian McBride, the Chicago Fire striker and former national team star, answered readers' questions for the New York Times blog "Goal." Among other things, he spoke about his time in Europe, the current national team, the state of MLS, and the strikers he admires in the Premiership.

McBride on the growth of the U.S. national team: "Bruce Arena laid a great foundation for the national team. One that made everybody have belief. Belief in themselves and belief in the team. From there, I think you saw people starting to do well in other places besides MLS. Before that, you had Claudio Reyna, Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller and John Harkes and a few others who had done well, or were doing well at that time, before the mental side of things had us saying, 'listen, we have the ability and you've got to believe it.' From there, the organization has grown ... I think the men's national team is looking great. We have got an extremely large amount of talent that I'm excited to continue to watch and see progress. And with what Bob Bradley has done, he's sort of brought these players in with some of the veterans, I think that you see how he is trying to build what he wants and build upon what Bruce had, but also sort of make it his own. I've enjoyed watching."

On how MLS is different the second time around: "I think it is definitely more exciting. Now playoff spots are playoff spots. They're not one or two teams missing out ... I think the depth of the teams is deeper. Players that come off the bench can actually help the team and make a better difference than in the past. That's not to say when I was here, that there weren't players on the bench that could make a difference. There were. Now, if you go into preseason, there's a lot more people pushing for spots and that pushes other people. That part helps."

On his relationship with Fire teammate Cuauthemoc Blanco: "I think everybody in the group are friends. I can't speak Spanish very well, or at all. And his English is probably better than my Spanish but it's more of a 'Hello' type of friendship.

 

 

Read the whole story at New York Times »

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