Legend. It's a word that doesn't always apply for a club that's only been in existence for 20 years. To be a legend in a relatively small amount time, you have to make an impact and considering Columbus Crew SC didn't win MLS Cup until 2008, not many can claim to be that impactful.
The one player that can is former Crew SC and U.S. national team striker Brian McBride.
On July 16, 2011 against the San Jose Earthquakes, McBride became the first person ever inducted into the Black & Gold's Circle of Honor.
McBride was the first selection in the first ever Major League Soccer draft. He returned to the United States from VfL Wolfsburg in Germany to play in the MLS and quickly became the face of the Crew.
In the first game in the Black & Gold's history, McBride registered two goals and an assist in a 4-0 win over D.C. United at Ohio Stadium. In that first season in Columbus, McBride scored 17 goals in 28 games played to establish himself as one of MLS' and America's best strikers.
Over eight seasons with Crew SC, McBride scored 62 goals and registered 45 assists in 161 league games. He is still tied with former teammate Jeff Cunningham for most goals in franchise history.
The Black & Gold original was known for his ability in the air with his timing and powerful headers. He is also remembered for his toughness, fighting through numerous injuries throughout his career.
McBride went on multiple loan spells during his time with the Crew. In early 2004, English Premier League side Fullham FC purchased McBride from MLS for $1.5 million. He returned to MLS in 2008 for the Chicago Fire, playing there until 2010 including losing to Columbus in the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.
The forward spent the night of his induction signing autographs and interacting with fans. When he was brought out to the field at halftime, McBride gave an emotional speech, thanking the Crew SC faithful for their support and expressing how important the city of Columbus is to him and his family.
Despite his time with the Fire, McBride's name will always be synonymous with the Crew when looking through MLS history. He came here as a young player hoping to grow and turned into one of the best in United States history. He was the first player on an MLS roster and lived up to that billing.
The first drafted, the first inducted. Brian McBride, forever a Crew SC legend.