Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Monday December 1 2008
In our first part of our tribute to Brian McBride, we focused on how Brian has settled back into the American way of things and how he has been able to enjoy a degree of anonymity since returning to Chicago.
In part two, we thought we`d focus on how McBride made that vital breakthrough in becoming a professional footballer, a journey that was never an easy one.
Brian was the second child born to his parents but their relationship broke down when Brian was four and it was left to his mother to raise him. Speaking about his early days playing football Brian recalls,
"She raised us and she put everything into it."
"She worked long, long hours, but she was there every weekend for my soccer games."
Back in 1993 as his schooldays began to come to an end, Brian had ambitions of becoming a professional in the soccer leagues of the USA but opportunities were limited, indeed the much vaunted North American Soccer League had been defunct for a decade.
Such obstacles only seemed to spur Brian on and after leaving college he joined Milwaukee Rampage who played in the also now defunct US Interregional Soccer League. Earning $2000 a month for a three month season but fate was to play its first deck of good cards.
McBride was spotted by scouts for the German second division team and invited for a trial with VIF Wolsfburg. Speaking no German McBride was apprehensive but took the plunge, remarking,
"I was thinking this was going to be the start of it. I`m going to make good money and grow as a player."
However, things were not to work out. Spending time as a substitute the culture shock stunned the American, he knew little of the language and found it hard to socialize, growing increasingly unhappy. As the season came ot a close, his thoughts turned to returning home, remarking,
"I wanted out so bad that I gave up my end of the year bonus. I gave up my last two months pay."
But, the experience had taught him one thing,
"I learned what it meant to be a professional - the work ethic, the training, the intensity."
But it had been a major set back and Brian returned to the USA still desperate for that big break through.
Read Part Three tomorrow!
Date:Monday December 1 2008
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