CHICAGO - So where does one go after having retired from the game and having your former club name their bar after you?
Well, to do some coaching and some broadcasting, of course. And then help a ninth-division side compete for the FA Cup.
Former Fulham FC striker and United States International Brian McBride will suit up for English ninth-division club Wembley FC on August 11 when they face Langford FC in the Extra Preliminary Round of the 2012-13 FA Cup.
"It's an opportunity to be a part of grassroots soccer and do some mentoring and some coaching," said McBride in an interview with Cottagers Confidential. "Part of that is (that) I play one game but it's been a great experience so far."
So does the Arlington Heights, Ill. (a suburb of Chicago) native and Saint Louis University graduate McBride still think he's match-fit?
"The playing side was unique through this opportunity with Wembley and Budweiser but quite honestly, my body feels good so it wasn't an issue," he said.
McBride left Fulham Football Club in 2008 as arguably one of the most respective players in club history. He then spent parts of three seasons at Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire before retiring at the end of the 2010 season.
After his playing career ended, McBride focused a part of his energy on McBride's Attacking Soccer Academy as well as doing some broadcasting work for the FOX Soccer Channel in the United States through the rest of the year. He handled the color commentary for the network's coverage of an international friendly between Italian club AS Roma and Polish club Zaglebie Lubin at legendary baseball stadium Wrigley Field in Chicago.
"It was really about staying involved (in the game) at a higher level and Fox has given me that opportunity," he said. "I'd like to continue it because I do get a lot of enjoyment out of it and I feel like I'm still growing in that process."
McBride says that he's been incredibly blessed to have been surrounded by great fans throughout his career regardless of what country he was playing in.
"I've been blessed throughout my career being a part of great organizations and having great fans and I've really enjoyed that part of my life and my career," he said. "And of course, I always want to say a thank you to all of them."
James Coston is the co-editor of the SB Nation Chicago Fire website Hot Time in Old Town. He became a Fulham FC supporter ahead of the 2005-2006 season when former Fire defender and current US National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra and McBride were playing for the Whites. He still blindly holds on to hope that current midfielder Clint Dempsey will stay at Craven Cottage.