Former Columbus Crew forward Brian McBride officially retired from international soccer this week. He was one of my favorite American soccer players since Ricky Davis. You could always count on McBride to win 50/50 balls and to stick his head (face) in where no others dared to tread. Though he frequently ended up with bruises, contusions, and stitches for his troubles, he knew no fear. I remember seeing him (briefly) in a US -vs- Mexico game in Columbus (where the temperature dropped into the 20s (F), where his face ended up way out of shape thanks to a collision of some kind with one of the Mexican players).
In a time where U.S. "stars" have disappeared in key matches all the while talking a big game(for more on that, look under Landon Donovan), McBride has played big all along. I'm not sure who's going to take his mantle, but it had better be someone bigger than Donovan. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and football-y.
When he played for the Columbus Crew, McBride was the hardest worker on "America's hardest working team" and I have the bobble-head doll to prove it. OK, so the bobble-head doesn't prove anything, and, anyway, it's not a doll, it's an action figure!