Something a lot of those once-every-four-years American soccer fans won't remember: Twelve years prior, at the 2002 World Cup, Brian McBride scored one of the most important goals in the history of U.S. soccer. That moment also made him one of the very few people on Earth to know what it feels like to score a goal in the World Cup.
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McBride, the third-most prolific goal-scorer in USMNT history, is 41 now and retired from the sport in 2010. These days, he leads the life of a kid-friendly family man — albeit one with a remarkable backstory.
This Friday, McBride will surprise a youth soccer team in Jacksonville, Florida, by crashing practice to conduct a clinic as part of his work with Allstate, a sponsor of the U.S. Soccer Federation. When we talked over the phone recently, McBride was carrying out a similar mission: picking up sandwiches with his wife before helping out with "sports day" at their children's school in the Chicago suburbs.
Just before school sports day, McBride took us on a trip down memory lane, offering a detailed recounting of his 2002 goal against Mexico, which Sports Illustrated recently named the 7th-most significant in U.S. soccer history. The eighth-minute strike propelled the U.S. over its southern neighbors and into the World Cup quarterfinals — still the USMNT's best performance in the World Cup since 1930.