U.S. soccer legend Brian McBride is used to making a difference on the pitch. He’s done it his entire career, but now he is doing it in a much different way.
McBride was the first overall pick in the first-ever MLS SuperDraft and went on to a decorated career in the U.S. and England. He was a star at each and every stop, spending eight record-breaking years with the Columbus Crew before becoming a fan favorite and team captain at EPL side Fulham. He would even find himself back in MLS with the Chicago Fire for three seasons to finish out his club career. He also put up some crazy numbers with the U.S. men’s national team, serving as the program’s talisman for a number of years. Simply put, he set the standard for American players here and abroad. He’s easily one of the best American players of all-time.
No wonder Allstate chose McBride as their brand ambassador; he was the perfect choice. Today, he is in his third year of working with the insurance giant and he’s enjoying every minute.
“I am very honored to be part of it. It’s a real joy to see the looks on kids’ faces.”
McBride gets to do the good stuff, surprising kids with new uniforms, equipment, and even tickets as part of the Good Hands FC program. This year Allstate partnered with Passback, a program under the U.S. Soccer Foundation, to have an even larger reach and an even bigger impact. It has been a massive success with Allstate donating 1,100 uniforms and 4,150 soccer balls to the effort. This is in addition to the camps and clinics that McBride has put on as part of the program, events that inspire and educate players from all over the country.
The most recent event took place on December 9 as McBride and the Allstate team shared their gift of soccer with the Somali Community Services of Seattle (SCSS) program, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping Somali refugees in the King County area and seeks to help youth develop character and leadership skills through team sports.
Being in Seattle made this extra special for McBride as the city braces for an important MLS Cup weekend. Their beloved Sounders may be a long way away in Toronto, Ontario, but the city is still full of excitement and anticipation.
“I love being in Seattle,” McBride added. “It may be cold and rainy, but there is vibrant support for the Sounders. You’ll find their signs, jerseys, and jackets everywhere. It”s a fun situation.”
We had to ask McBride his thoughts on MLS Cup and even though he predicts a close game, he sees Toronto coming away with the hardware on Saturday. Why? McBride thinks that TFC has better overall quality and depth, especially on the attacking side of the ball. There is no question that it’s going to be an epic battle with Giovinco, Bradley, and Altidore leading the way for TFC against the likes of Seattle’s terrific trio of Alonso, Morris, and Marshall.
McBride joked that he picked Columbus last year and they fell to the Timbers at home in dramatic fashion. But accurately predicting the results of MLS games, even those in the postseason, is quite the difficult task, even for one of the league’s greatest players. It’s not an exact science to say the least.
McBride is, however, happy with the progress MLS has been making, knowing that the core mission of the league is alive and well.
“MLS allows players a way to fulfill their dreams. That dream and that vision has just gotten bigger and better.”
He sees major improvements in the overall infrastructure of American soccer, hoping that changes will continue to help the Americans close the gap. The growth of MLS is one piece of that puzzle. Corporate support of the beautiful game, coming from the hands of companies like Allstate, is certainly another.
Thanks to Allstate’s support and McBride’s devotion to the game, there are more opportunities for players and programs all over the country. It’s an exciting time for MLS and American soccer overall.