McBride interested in U.S. Olympic spot

Brian_mcbride_isi_photos

                                                                                               Photo by ISI Photos

If you thought the last image you would ever have of Brian McBride in a U.S. uniform was him walking off the field after the U.S. team’s World Cup loss to Ghana in 2006, think again.

McBride and U.S. Olympic team coach Peter Nowak have had discussions about McBride being one of the team’s three over-age players for this summer’s Olympics and McBride is interested in being on the team, making him a front-runner to be one of the three senior players chosen by Nowak.

Sources have told SBI that McBride is one of several over-age candidates contacted by Nowak about playing in Beijing and McBride is very interested in being on the team. His inclusion would give the team a sorely-needed boost at the forward position and he could potentially form an imposing forward tandem with Jozy Altidore.

So why is a 35-year old (36 at the Olympics) going to snap a two-year national team retirement for the Olympics? Of all of McBride’s impressive national team accomplishments, including World Cups, Gold Cups and a Confederations Cup, he has never played in the Olympics. There is still plenty of time between now and July, when the Olympic team will convene, so McBride’s health and continued interest will ultimately determine if he does join the team, but right now McBride should be considered a front-runner.

Also working in McBride’s favor is the possibility that some of the U.S. senior team’s top players will be unavailable for the Olympics due to a schedule conflict with a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. While the schedule issue could still be worked out, there is also a scenario where the qualifier cannot be moved and the Olympic schedule forces some top American players to pass on the Olympics.

Does this mean there could be a national team come-back in McBride’s future? I haven’t heard anything on that but I would find it hard to believe that McBride would turn down the call if Bob Bradley asked for his help and the U.S. team were facing a must-win situation in World Cup qualifying. You may recall Tab Ramos coming out of retirement after two years away from the national team to help the U.S. World Cup qualifying campaign in 2000 (he helped the U.S. post a pair of blowout wins vs. Barbados). Given the unsettled nature of the U.S. forward crop, you cannot rule it out.

For now, the focus should be on the very real possibility that McBride could lead a talented U.S. Olympic team into what should be a very deep and difficult tournament at the Olympics.

What do you think of McBride coming back to play in the Olympics? Share your thoughts below.

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75 Responses to McBride interested in U.S. Olympic spot

  1. MetroFlip says:

    Was against it initially, since I feel we should bring Guzan and two defenders. But if McBride wants to be there, especially after what I witnessed in Nashville, I am for it. We need help up top as well.

  2. Don says:

    McBride has always been one of my favorite players. He’s a legend. I’m excited to hear he might play in the Olympics

  3. dano says:

    I sure didn’t see this one coming.

  4. Matt says:

    I love it! It would just be great to see Mcbride in a USMNT jersey once again.

  5. Dillon says:

    Him and Jozy could do some serious damage up top I reckon. He could definitely bring those intangible leadership qualities people are always talking about.

  6. brian k says:

    Brian McBride has been a great representative for US soccer for the past decade, but the “overage” nonsense at the Olympics is a farce. I think the games should be a testing ground for young athletes, not a place for seasoned professionals.

    With so many ways to circumvent the rules of “amateur” standing, however, perhaps the Olympics should just have an age limit. While that will never happen, it would be fairer than introducing ringers. (Great! Charles Barkley just dunked on an 18-year-old Angolan! Congratulations!)

  7. sayervilleFC says:

    I think this would be a fantastic development. Improves the forwards, provides leadership, doesn’t impact the Sr. team vs. Guatemala and gives McBride a nice stage to close out his national team career.

    BTW Ives, how serious are the talks to move the Guatemala game?

  8. sublicon says:

    MCBRIDE!!!!!!

  9. Bring Him Back says:

    COME ON MC HEAD!

  10. Adam R. says:

    I’m calling it right now, Frankie Hejduk will be overage player #2.

    And although Brad Guzan seems a good fit for the overage keeper, I wouldn’t count out Marcus Hahnemman getting the call, as he’s not gotten the chance to play any important national team games, and is certainly up to the task.

  11. Gerald says:

    That would be great for the US squad

  12. Big Will says:

    Though it would be nice to see McBride on the team I think the team would suffer having him and Altidore up top. This team has no one who can deliver decent crosses into the box consistently and that is what McBride needs to be effective. I’d rather us just go with all U23 players this time around.

  13. Frog says:

    I think this makes sense…picture McBride being the target man to take the pressure off Jozy ala JPA with the red bulls.

  14. kco says:

    With everything McBride has meant to US Soccer, he shouldn’t even need Nowak’s permission to join the squad, Nowak should be honored that Brian wants to join. Young and fast Jozy with strong willed and intelligent Brian, with Adu feeding both of them, that would be great! USA USA USA!

  15. Brant says:

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see McBride at the Olympics. He’s done so much for the team, that even if he was only there for the clubhouse, he’d be well worth the senior slot.

    Let me point you toward 2 comments from the Olympic qualifier title game ( link to soccerbyives.net ):

    First, me:

    “It would be nice to see McBride in the Olympics. He might legitimately be in the mix to be the flagbearer at the opening ceremony.

    That said, I’d take:

    Dempsey <- someone’s gotta score

    Howard <- no point neglecting our best position

    Bocanegra <- steady hand and adult supervision for off the field

    and make sure that the under-23s included Michael Bradley.

    Posted by: Brant | March 23, 2008 at 07:04 PM”

    Then, Aristotle:

    “Seriously, guys, the McBride thing isn’t going to happen so we might as well stop talking about it. He said he has retired internationally. Even if for some very unlikely reason he was actually asked, it wouldn’t be fair. Knowing McBride, he would also say it isn’t fair. How can it be fair to offer the senior spot to someone who has said they don’t want to play internationally anymore?

    Even if you don’t buy that, it would open up a whole can of worms if he were to suddenly be back playing internationally. He’s old and may only have one year left. He just came off of a long injury and I really don’t think Fulham would take to kindly to it if he was still with them. It’s just NOT going to happen.

    Posted by: aristotle | March 23, 2008 at 08:55 PM”

  16. John Godfrey says:

    This is a genius move, and one I’ve actually thought about. Fulham is toast in the EPL and McBride is too good for the Championship, so it makes perfect sense for him to come back to the US. He can participate in the Olympics and potentially some USMNT competitions — since the travel will be far easier if he’s based in the states. I’m excited about McBride, Donovan and Howard going to Beijing, and if that goes well, McBride should consider coming out of retirement for 2010. Even if he only plays a Teddy Sheringham-like role — coming on for the last 30 minutes or so — he would be invaluable for our sadly strikerless squad.

  17. Dominghosa says:

    I really didn’t think this was going to happen. But if there’s a chance, McBride MUST be on this team. The forward pool in the entire U.S. system is diluted (apologies to Abby Wambach).

    Would love to see him play with the U.S. again. He’s really the only proven goal-scoring U.S. forward right now. The Olympic team needs one.

  18. eric says:

    YES! Please let this happen! What a perfect combo to work with Altidore, strong in the air and so good at making passes.

    For the other two, I want to see Cherundolo at RB and one of our 3 CB’s (Gooch, Boca, or JDM) who are an aerial threat selected.

    The midfield, with Michael Bradley and a healthy Robbie Rogers, is ready to go.

  19. Squard says:

    NICE! The Metal Head returns!

  20. smorebs says:

    Lets just hope someone can try to elbow him in the face again so he can break their elbow.

  21. Jon E says:

    I really like this idea. As long as the IOC allows three overage players, the USSF should consider anyone and everyone who would be available and able to contribute. Can’t think of a lot of people higher on the list than McBride.

  22. Camjam says:

    Best. Idea. Ever.

  23. Juan from L.A. says:

    He is a shoe-in!!! I had him in my wish list. There is no doubt we need a forward who can score. Our forwards in the tourney were horrendous, and that was coming into the tournament the biggest doubts were the defensive line. But its a problem with the main team also as EJ and Ching and Twellman are not the world level. Altidore is still very green.

    My next two options are:

    Dempsey—someone who can score and play more than two roles and get along with the younger guys (unlike Donovan being an a$$ outside the field)

    Pearce—we need a left back. Biggest hole in the Olympic team

  24. GoldenChild says:

    This should happen. McBride will be a leader on and off the field. A young team will learn a lot from a classy, grizzled international and EPL veteran like McBride.

  25. Eric says:

    I like it.

    Now – we’ll just need another Premier League-based American, who retired from international soccer, and wouldn’t be playing in the qualifiers anyway.

    Maybe, I don’t know…someone who plays ‘keeper? :)

  26. tex says:

    Crazy, like we need an old slow guy who’s injury proned at the end of his career. These spots are for real players who can still play and relate to the other players. The overaged players will be under 27, play Rock Band and it will one one from each line (F, MF & D). Sorry McB that ship sailed about 12 years ago for you pal.

  27. Mike says:

    Who needs Ronaldinho? We’ve got McBride-inho!

  28. mikeK says:

    I like the idea. The team clearly needed someone to play next to Jozy, as the experiments with Jozy alone up top didn’t go well. I think we’re set in the midfield with Adu and Edu, let’s get a keeper (vital position, can’t let just anyone do it, calls for experience) and a defender in here and do this right.

  29. Chase says:

    This is amazing news if it proves to be true, it makes so much sense!

    I’m with the majority of you out there who say that we need a defender and gk for the other two spots

    GK: Hahnemann, Keller, Guzan (I don’t think Howard will be available due to the WC qualifiers)

    D: Conrad, DeMerit, Parkhurst, Hejduk, (similarly I think Boca, Gooch, Pearce, Cherundolo won’t be available)

    Though I still have a sneaking feeling that Nike will excersize their influence and try and get Donovan on the team as part of their marketing push before and during the Olympics…

  30. Felix says:

    McBride has done so much for US Soccer, I wouldn’t mind if they threw him a bone and let him go as one of the 3 senior spots. However, I would much rather the spot go to someone who is a senior player, but can use the experience to become a better player, instead of McBride using it for a swan song.

  31. Steve says:

    The U23s have so much to learn from McHead’s professionalism and experience. It’s worth the addition to the squad for that reason alone.

  32. Freddy says:

    I think this is an awesome idea by Peter Nowak! McBride is 35 years old but by the way he keeps himself in shape you’d think he was 10 years younger. A true legend, there will never be another Brian McBride. Hopefully he’ll give us a year or two more in MLS before he retires.

  33. Jamie Z. says:

    I think he’d be a great influence on the team. In fact, I’d love to have him within the coaching setup for US Soccer once he retires. Meanwhile, maybe he can teach our U-23s how not to fall over and flop around on the ground as soon as they get within sight of the 18-yard box.

  34. tedhill says:

    This is a great idea. With the quality of our midfield he won’t have to do much. Just get into good positions and finish goals. I hope this happens.

  35. Danny says:

    McBride is the definition of the phrase: “American Soccer Player.” He’s tough, physical, and all heart.

    He’s more than earned any spot he wants on any MNT squad. The man has absolute tenure.

    I hope he plays.

  36. Reid says:

    As a well respected guy @ Fulham, I would love to see McBride take up with the Olympic team, and it would allow him to keep up to speed this summer after missing most of the season and possibly with a good showing give him another year contract in the Prem

  37. Seth says:

    McBride, Friedel…..

    and don’t we also have a midfielder, another 2002 Workd Cup star, who is rumored to be playing beach soccer somewhere, who also won’t be busy with Qualifiers….

  38. RPH says:

    Wow. You just blew my mind.

  39. RedLine55 says:

    What a brilliant story line for some NBC Olympics Special Interest story… Imagine Bob Coastas’ Voice:

    The old veteran McBride to play alongside the young Jon Spector in China with the US Olympic team, after they both grew up just a few blocks away from each other…

    I can see it now.

  40. EASTLACHIVA says:

    All I can say is…..HELL YEAH!!

    Bring it on!

  41. BigWave says:

    Gooch and Guzan should be the other two overage players to join. McBride, Gooch and Altidore would give us a potent aerial trio in the box.

  42. beckster says:

    If McBride wants it, he deserves it. Fantastic idea!

  43. Joamiq says:

    Juan: Biggest hole is left back? Sturgis looked fine to me.

    This would be great though. McBride would provide a huge boost up top with Jozy. That combo would be a treat to watch, and one I never thought I’d see.

    One thing that has bothered me lately with Jozy is that I think he has some difficulty overcoming very physical play. Winning fouls is nice, but Jozy should be able to find ways to beat defenses that are playing him tough. McBride could teach him a thing or two about that.

  44. jake h says:

    I did see it coming but didn’t have any reason to think it might but now i’m glad to have real hope.

    I think its a perfect idea if McBride is healthy. He still has the skills and certainly has the mentality needed. He will be off from his team (or more likely out of contract after Fulham is dropped), but won’t be pulled off of WC qualifying as he’s retired from the full team anyway.

    To the poster above me? Eric… Friedel would be cool too.

  45. jake h says:

    I did see it coming but didn’t have any reason to think it might but now i’m glad to have real hope.

    I think its a perfect idea if McBride is healthy. He still has the skills and certainly has the mentality needed. He will be off from his team (or more likely out of contract after Fulham is dropped), but won’t be pulled off of WC qualifying as he’s retired from the full team anyway.

    To the poster above me? Eric… Friedel would be cool too.

  46. j1 says:

    Spurs move for Atlante star Nkong

    tribalfootball.com – March 30, 2008

    Tottenham are moving for Mexico-based Cameroon midfielder Alain Nkong.

    The midfielder currently plays for Mexican side Atlante.

    He put the Indomitable Lions into the African Nations Cup final by scoring a cool winner to knock out hosts Ghana.

    Nkong, 28, has played all over the world, including Las Palmas in Spain, Nacional in Uruguay and MLS club Colorado Rapids.

    Villa boss O’Neill maintains Guzan interest

    tribalfooball.com – March 30, 2008

    Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill remains keen on Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

    The News of the World says O’Neill hopes to do a deal for the USA international as he prepares to send Scott Carson back to Liverpool in the summer.

  47. $in says:

    Isn’t April Fool’s Day tomorrow?

    JK, I would love to see McB back in national team action!

  48. j1 says:

    perkins started and had a shutout in the first game of the season for valerenga in norway

  49. JN says:

    I can’t believe this is being contemplated. The lack of scoring came from two factors, (i) a defense minded formation with Jozy (for the most part) as a lone striker and (ii) Jozy being double teamed and continually fouled. Although he didn’t score, he did a lot of set work. Aside from the fact McBride is coming off a pretty bad injury and is already at the twilight of his career. Another bad injury and he is probably done. I think this more indicative of Peter Nowak’s decision to continue using a defense minded strategy with long balls to a sole striker. I did not see a dominating US team at all during qualifications. That formation sucks and its not very effective.

  50. Andrew D says:

    lol brad friedel here we come! it’s like 2002 all over again haha

  51. Andrew D says:

    Was joking by the way. thatd be cool, id rather see hahnemann get the call though if he’s interested.

  52. inkedAG says:

    I’m all for this! Go on, McBride!!

  53. gary says:

    Shake and Bake! I hope it doesn’t impact his playing with the Crew after the EPL season is over ;)

  54. Steve says:

    Let’s bring in Johnny OB and call it a day

  55. Andrew says:

    I told you so. They desperately need him. Besides Jozy, they totally suck up front.

  56. Andrew says:

    Brant,

    I love that you are/were in favor of adding McBride, but if you look at the comments from the Honduras Under 23 game, you will find this before your comments:

    McBride should be added as one of the three senior players…I know he has retired from the USMNT, but he might be interested in playing in the Olympics.

    Posted by: Andrew | March 23, 2008 at 06:56 PM

    Good to see Sacha has returned to his usual suckiness.

    Andrew Fulham would never let McBride play in the Olympics, and to be honest I doubt he would even consider it.

    Posted by: kpugs | March 23, 2008 at 06:57 PM

    Kpugs,

    If Fulham is relegated, I can see them allowing him to play in the Olympics. Heck, he might even come back to the MLS, even though they love him there.

    Posted by: Andrew | March 23, 2008 at 07:01 PM

  57. aristotle says:

    Brant:

    When you’re wrong, you’re wrong! I was way off on this one! I’m eating my humble pie right now!

    I can’t believe this one. I love Brian McBride as much as the next guy but I don’t think you should be able to pick and choose when you play for the U.S. National team. You’re either retired or you’re not retired. I think there are other players who haven’t “retired” from international play who deserve this more. What next? Players saying they are retired internationally except for the World Cup?

    Then there is the fact that he hasn’t even played that well since his return from injury. So he hasn’t even earned it with his play either.

    I understand everyone loving McBride. How can you not? However just having a name up front will not necessarily help the U.S. team. He has to at least earn the spot.

  58. dave says:

    MCBRIDE, HEJDUK, AND FRIEDEL

    They get my vote

  59. mike ruze says:

    Ives,

    Any chance J.O.B might come out of retirement for a chance at the olympics also?

  60. aristotle says:

    How about McBride, Friedel, and Reyna?

  61. Ted says:

    I love the McBride injury comments, followed by calls for Hejduk and O’brien. Throw in Cory Gibbs and the team would need a hospital to travel with.

  62. MiamiAl says:

    Is David Regis still playing???

  63. Johnny says:

    I would love it! I would love it if he played!

  64. Johnny says:

    I would love it!

  65. jay says:

    I called this one. And as for whether players should be allowed to pick and choose which games to play in, I guess that’s probably true. But it seems to me that Olympic soccer isn’t really an event for the full national team. I just consider it a completely different thing. And McBride would fit in perfectly with the setup for this tournament. Hahnemann would be nice as well, since it doesn’t look like he’ll get to be #1 for a World Cup. As for the third member, I’d just pick the best player that was available, whoever that is. But I can find absolutely nothing wrong with McBride playing in this tournament.

  66. David Berger says:

    I really hope he plays in China!

  67. papa bear says:

    I think McBride would bring grit, toughness & finishing class that no other forward in our pool offers.

    Jozy is close but needs some more work on the toughness and grit part. It would make for a dangerous front line though…assuming Nowak would actually be ‘bold’ enough to play a 4-4-2 and not a BS 4-2-3-1 again.

  68. kpugs says:

    McBride + Altidore = YAY!

  69. James says:

    I would be so excited if this happens. It was painful to watch one of the most decorated and best ever americans leaving international play like mcbride did in germany. he’s such a consistent preformer. maybe he’d be the flag bearer in the ceremonies?? (one can dream)

  70. stephen says:

    i’d LOVE it if it was true… but i can’t help but wonder, is this an april fool’s joke?

  71. Lloyd Heilbrunn says:

    Yes!!!!

  72. YankatOxford says:

    This idea works on many different levels, and if McBride wants it, he has certainly earned it.

    Cracking addition for the Olympics.

  73. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Count me in the minority, just don’t think McBride would be my choice for one of the spots. Great guy, but too similar to a quicker Jozy. If McBride comes in Jozy sits. The U-23′s showed us that we need players who can move the ball forward and get it into scoring position. The lack of scoring did not come because of a lack of talent up front, (OK but only partially), rather it was the lack of service. The forwards rarely saw the ball as the wing combination of Davies & Findley did not pan out for Nowak.

    Give me Deuce & Donavon, or Donavon and Beez if he is healthy. Hejduk or Dolo even, but Brian McBride is not going to do very much with little service to his mcHead.

  74. QJA says:

    This is fantastic news.

    If the scheduling conflict can’t be resolved, here are my top overage picks for China this summer:

    1) McBride

    2) Cory Gibbs

    3) Eddie Lewis

    4) (if Lewis is with the senior MNT) Frank Simek

  75. mikeK says:

    BTW: Hannehnman is ruled out for this, even if he wanted to, by offseason hand surgery.