Brian McBride named U.S. men's national team general manager

Brian McBride, who played for the USA in three World Cups, has been named the new U.S. men's national team general manager.

The National Soccer Hall of Famer was chosen from a list of 20 candidates and fills the position previously held by Earnie Stewart, who was named U.S. Soccer's sporting director, a new position, in 2019.

“We are thrilled to have Brian McBride assume the role as general manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team,” Stewart said. “Through his impressive career as a three-time World Cup veteran and at clubs in England, Germany and the United States, he has earned the respect of his peers around the world. The hard-earned reputation will allow him to forge important relationships both internationally and here at home, and his understanding of the game and what it takes to succeed at the highest levels will be invaluable to our player pool and our staff.”

McBride and Stewart were teammates on the 1998 and 2002 World Cup teams. McBride also played at the 2006 World Cup.

U.S. women's national team general manager Kate Markgraf and Stewart conducted interviews with candidates for the position. U.S. Soccer described McBride's primary focus as being related to only senior national team: "to oversee the development and management of the [men's national team] player pool, build and guide the culture within the men’s national team environment, manage relationships with clubs and represent the USMNT on the global stage." (Markgraf's responsibilities cover the entire women's national team program: hiring senior and youth team coaches and staffs, implementing a philosophy to the program and setting standards.)

Some highlights of McBride's 17-year career:

-- He earned 95 caps and scored 30 goals for the USA;
-- He was the first U.S. player to score goals in multiple men's World Cups;
-- He scored the third and decisive goal in the USA's 3-2 win over Portugal and had the game-winner against Mexico in the 2-0 shutout victory in the round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup;
-- He was selected first overall in MLS’s Inaugural Player Draft in 1996 and scored 62 goals over eight seasons for the the Columbus Crew;
-- He earned Player of the Season honors at Fulham in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons;
-- He set school records for goals (72) and assists (40) at Saint Louis University.

Since retiring, McBride worked as an analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN and founded his own soccer academy (Brian McBride’s Attacking Soccer Academy) and co-founded TiPEVO (an online youth soccer directory for which he served as chief strategic officer).

McBride and his wife Dina have three daughters and live in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where they both grew up.

Photo: Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

18 comments about "Brian McBride named U.S. men's national team general manager".
  1. Bob Ashpole, January 10, 2020 at 6:50 p.m.

    Two comments.

    I think McBride is a good choice.

    USSF has once again changed its structure. First the National Team coach's job was downsized. Now the MNT GM job is downsized. Presumable Stewart is going to run both programs himself. I am not happy with that centralization of management. In most modern organizations, authority is deligated to the lowest practical level, not elevated to one person.

  2. John DiFiore, January 11, 2020 at 12:08 a.m.

    Loved McBride as a player - one of my all time favorites, but what makes him qualified to be GM?? 

    I never understand why people think that being a good player translates into being a good leader, head coach, etc. 
    MOST great players are terrible coaches - at all levels in US Soccer.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, January 11, 2020 at 12:49 a.m.

    I never met the man, so my impression of him is from watching and listening to him on TV. He seems honest, intelligent, and knows soccer. He wasn't just "good" and wasn't just a player. He was part of the 2002 MNT. He is respected in Europe and North America. He was captain for several teams including Fulham. He has worked for both Fox Sports and ESPN. He has founded and lead 2 youth soccer related businesses. Bottom line he knows a lot of people in soccer.  

    The honor that most impresses me is that the Sports Bar at Fulhams is still named McBride's. :)

    Luckily he is an Illinois native so living in Illinois is not a problem for him. 

  4. frank schoon replied, January 11, 2020 at 10:39 a.m.

    John, who are these so-called "great players" who are coaches here ?. The only coach I see who fits the description but he was only a good player is Frank de Boer of Atlanta United who played for Ajax, Barcelona, and for Holland.  Maybe you thought of JK but he was not a great player, not by a long shot, perhaps maybe by American standards. As far as I'm concerned we never had a "great" player as coach here...

  5. Seth Vieux replied, January 11, 2020 at 1 p.m.

    If you weren't at least a decent player, how are you supposed to be a great coach? Especially in soccer where athleticism only gets you so far? Definitely agree that being a great player alone doesn't necessarily mean you'll be a good coach (especially if your own talents relied primarily on a huge athletic advantage over other players), but I'd sure rather have a coach with experience playing the game and limited leadership ability than a coach with little to no knowledge of the game and great leadership...which leads me to the main point here: McBride wasn't hired as a coach, he was hired as a general manager. A GM needs to have huge experience in organizational leadership and operations management to succeed in a huge organization like USSF. While I think McBride is one of the most accomplished professionals the US has ever produced, I don't see the credentials to be hired as GM. Starting soccer academies and online tools is world apart from being the GM at USSF. Would be excited for his hire at many positions in USSF, not this one. Hope he proves me wrong, but the GM should be someone who has run large businesses since their early 20s, and simply being an avid fan of soccer would be enough.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, January 11, 2020 at 9:52 p.m.

    I somewhat agree with you Seth, but "coach" in the US has a lot of different aspects to the job. 

    Where I agree the most is in training. A coach can only pass on what he knows. Any competent player can teach fundamentals, but the more advanced the player, the more important the trainer's own playing experience. 

    When people talk about great players making poor coaches, they are typically talking about the head coach position. I imagine if you put those great players in a training session with a small group of players, they would have a something to teach them. For example, does anyone doubt that our Hall of fame keepers would make great keeper coaches? I.e., trainers. 

    Coaching isn't easy for good players because normally advanced players don't think about how they do things on the field. The just do things. So to coach, the first problem a new coach faces is figuring out how they actually do things that they learned to do long ago without concious thought.

    For example Seth, when was the last time you actually thought about your foot placement when striking the ball? Age 10? Never? :) 

  7. frank schoon, January 11, 2020 at 8:23 a.m.

    After seeing what Earney Stewart has done  and accomplished with a similar background, all I can say is "Big Whoop"!

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, January 11, 2020 at 11:14 a.m.

    I would not assume that McBride would have made the same decisions as Stewart has, but I do assume that Stewart sees McBride as a "safe" choice who will do what he is told. 

    I don't believe McBride is the type who talks about personalities and problems to the press. So I don't think we will ever know how McBride would have managed things if he had the authority. If he hadn't committed to supporting Stewart, he would have never been hired. 

  9. frank schoon replied, January 11, 2020 at 11:37 a.m.

    Bob, it looks like the game of 'scratching' each other's back to get somewhere in the USSF organization, which ,to me, is foreboding....

  10. frank schoon, January 11, 2020 at 11:47 a.m.

    Bob, <"I do assume that Stewart sees McBride as a "safe" choice who will do what he is told.">
    <". If he hadn't committed to supporting Stewart, he would have never been hired.">  All of this says enough to think that the old game of "backscratching" to get anywhere in the USSF organization is alive and well......

  11. frank schoon replied, January 11, 2020 at 11:48 a.m.

    Just noticed my initial comment finally appeared.. :)

  12. Bill Dooley replied, January 12, 2020 at 2:01 p.m.

    FOMO at this level?  Only in America.

  13. Adam Cohen, January 11, 2020 at 12:18 p.m.

    I remember that cover!  McBride at Fulham!

  14. Ric Fonseca, January 11, 2020 at 2:25 p.m.

    Welcome to Mr. McBride!  Hey folks, first comments re: his "non-managerial" experience versus his "coaching"/playing experience, it seems to have been forgotten that we're dealing here with a sports organization that requires certain knowledge of the "business" at hand and it is like comparing apples and oranges.  Since US Soccer is certainly not one of the major 500 conglomerate business organization, IMHO, McBride is a good choice, that and the fact that living in nearby Arlington Heights - isn't it a fairly affluent community north of Chicago proper?  And yet, maybe that is what prompted the dynamic US Soccer duo (named as interviewers) to select him?  How about we all give him a chance to show us what he's capable of doing and give him moral support?  

  15. Tom Swan replied, January 11, 2020 at 5:22 p.m.

    Well, Brian can think on his feet, has a sharp tactical sense and has repeated leadership experience as a Team Captain - and he gives everything he's got to the game at hand. Managing the varied and often volatile personalities on elite and professional teams as a Captain, in order to achieve success, gives him good managerial experience. Since he got paid for those positions it should qualify as professional experience too.

    With all of the above I feel he's qualified, going to do well and deserves the GM job. All the best to him, and congrats to USSF on the choice of Brian and recently Laura for the USWNT U20 team. Keep making those good decisions!

  16. David Ruder, January 11, 2020 at 4:16 p.m.

    Here we go again, nice guy, a great player for the US, but no experience as a professional manager in finance, people, organizations or promotions. I guess it was his turn in the old boy's network.  

  17. Sean Guillory, January 11, 2020 at 7:18 p.m.

    JK was not a great player or better than De Boer?  Is this the same JK that won a World Cup and Euro championship?  Is that the same DeBoer whose team in 2000 lost to a substandard Italy team?  Frank DeBoer was a good player but not even close to great.  Man, every time Frank opens his mouth, silliness comes out.  Oh btw, Klinsman won a bronze medal in the Olympics andalso, has 47 goals in 108 caps with a great Germany team.   Geez!

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, January 11, 2020 at 9:59 p.m.

    Sean, to you great player means a greatly successful player in a team sport. I doubt Frank uses the same criteria.

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