Brian McBride is leaving Fulham. Assuming he is not retiring, he will be returning to MLS. To recap what we do know, Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune reports that Toronto FC has first option on McBride (I am not sure how). He also stated that Chicago is very interested in his services. Shawn Mitchell has reported that the Crew has not had contact with McBride for “several months”.
Where McBride ends up will really depend on a couple of factors; first, where does he want to go and second, what are his salary demands. Chicago would be a homecoming for him. He grew up in the area. McBride is also a Crew legend. He would be coming back to the team after several triumphant seasons in Europe. Toronto is a cosmopolitan city, but I am not sure the attraction for the McBride family.
On the salary side, both Toronto and the Crew have a designated player slot. Chicago would have to trade for one if McBride requires a designated player salary. He would tip the balance of power in MLS no matter where he chooses. He is a potent offensive weapon; even in the latter stages of his career.
If I had to make a completely random and wild guess, I would not be surprised to see him suit up for the red and white of the Chicago Fire. It would be a bitter sight to see him in a Fire uniform and the Chicago offense would be even stronger with McBride along side Blanco. Brian, spare this fan the pain of seeing you in a Fire or TFC jersey, come back to Columbus and be a part of something special.
UPDATE: John Harkes said McBride is coming back to America and that he has not decided where he will be playing.