October 14, 2008

It took a while, but Brian McBride finally showed exactly why the Chicago Fire jumped through hoops and traded away promising young striker Chad Barrett to acquire the former Fulham ace. The Illinois native scored two goals in the Fire's 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew, a result that clinched the club's playoff spot.

For his performance, McBride was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for matchday 29. He is only the second Chicago Fire player to earn the honor, following John Thorrington in matchday 16.

McBride's two goals came on either side of Columbus' strikes and both came on set pieces. The first arrived in the 13th minute, when he chested down Justin Mapp's corner kick and slotted a shot into the lower right corner.

Columbus then struck twice in rapid succession, in the 59th and 61st minutes, to take a 2-1 lead. But McBride produced a near replica of his first goal for the equalizer. In the 79th minute, a free kick from the right side was flicked on by defender Wilman Conde. McBride was in the right spot. He chested the ball down and hit a half-volley low into the right side netting.

McBride now has four goals since his return to MLS. He spent eight years with the Columbus Crew, where he scored 62 goals in 161 league appearances, before moving to England in 2003. -- Goal.com

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