Great Moments in US Soccer Hair #6: Brian McBride

Ah, the mid-90s…such a carefree time. MLS was in its infancy, we had a president that could play saxophone while wearing sunglasses, neo-hippies were pushing their way onto the nation’s airwaves, and a young Brian McBride was scoring goals for the Columbus Crew.

Whether you call it “the curtain,” “the gin blossom,” or “the J.T.T.,” Brian McBride’s bob showed the world that he was a carefree dude (but maybe just a little edgy…in a safe sort of way), who was simply taking things as they came. It’s funny, I’d almost completely forgotten about McBride’s Abercrombie love child phase…or the shoelace-as-headband craze that swept through American youth soccer clubs. Kids laced up their headbands and turned on the TV to watch the new domestic soccer league. What a glorious time.

It has been noted that McBride’s hair had a reverse-Samson effect (not to be confused with the reverse-Sampson effect often associated with Bruce Arena), in that his goal production and overall quality of play increased when he ditched the long hair. While it was definitely a good move, it’s a shame that McBride cut his hair before moving to England, or he might have made the list of Top 15 curtain hairstyles in Premier League history.

Did you know? Brian McBride’s bob also acted as protective headgear. While his goals-per-game ratio rose when he clipped his hair, his head-injuries-per-90-minutes more than tripled.

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