Chicago Fire send McBride, Brown off in Style with Win

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brian mcbride

It was an extremely disappointing season for the Chicago Fire, but at least they closed it out with a 4-1 win over Chivas USA. With the win the Fire end the 2010 MLS campaign at 9-12-9, with 36 points, good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Fire will miss the postseason for just the second time in the club’s history.

Appearing in the final match of his illustrious 17-year career, Chicago Fire forward Brian McBride tallied a beautiful back-heel goal. C.J. Brown presided over the Fire’s backline for the final time and Freddie Ljungberg, Calen Carr and Baggio Husidic added goals to send McBride and Brown into retirement as the Fire defeated Chivas USA 4-1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Brown got his 290th start, out of 296 appearances. The last remaining original player from the Fire’s 1998 expansion side, he played 25,738 MLS regular season minutes over the course of his 13-year career. He was essentially “Mr. Fire.”

In the 40th minute Steven Kinney found Freddie Ljungberg on the right side of the field. The dynamic Swede fought through three Chivas USA defenders before slipping the ball to a cutting McBride. The iconic American striker redirected Ljungberg’s pass, sending a crafty back-heel flick past Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton to the far post to notch his 80th career MLS goal.

McBride finishes his professional soccer career with 80 MLS goals, 44 English Premier League tallies and 30 goals in international competitions with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The four-goal output was the highest goal total of the season, besting two three-goal performances in the state of California – against LA Galaxy 3-2 Aug. 4 and against San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 Sept. 29.

The Fire will take a week off to end the season before resuming training at TOYOTA PARK on Monday, Nov. 1.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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