World Soccer Talk got the opportunity to interview legendary U.S. National Team and Fulham player Brian McBride on his current work with AllState and the changes he has seen within the United States and the growth of the sport.
Here’s the interview:
Caitlin O’Connell: Thank you for talking with us today. What advice do you give the young players you interact with, and what advice would you give young soccer players in America?
Brian McBride – It’s important that they have fun. You need to make sure you’re enjoying yourself while you’re playing and taking part but it’s a lot of hard work and to get out there with a soccer ball as much as possible. That’ll help with their improvement.
O’Connell – It’s been an incredible year for U.S. Soccer, what is one moment from this last year that stands out to you?
McBride – The thing that stands out has to be the Women’s World Cup and winning that, but on the men’s side it would be the second half [of the USMNT friendly] in Germany that was pretty special. The first half was not as clear-cut and it was about what you expected with Germany causing problems but the second half we came out and pressed them all over the place. We were able to keep the ball and have sustained pressure all over the field to get that result.
O’Connell – As you said, the women’s team just had an incredible World Cup. How long do you think it will take for the men’s team to make a run at a World Cup title?
McBride – I think it will be a little while. You hope for a “Golden Generation,” a generation that is sort of two or three just world-class stars, and the rest being capable and smart players. I think then you have the opportunity to go far in a World Cup. Going deep in a World Cup is going to be extremely difficult, not something that I would say is NEVER going to happen but certainly it’s a ways off. I think once we’re contending in the quarter-finals and semi-finals year after year then you’ll break through.
O’Connell – What changes have you seen personally in the growth of soccer in the United States?
McBride – The biggest change for me is the support. Nowadays almost every MLS team has a supporter’s group with fanatical fans. All you have to do is look at the American Outlaws and what they do not only go to home games but away games to support our national teams, it’s pretty special and awesome to see.