Fire keep Brown, McBride

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire picked up 2010 contract options for veteran defender C.J. Brown and forward Brian McBride.

The team made the official announcement Wednesday.

Brown has been with the Fire since the team's inception in 1998. McBride, an Arlington Heights, Ill., native, led the Fire with seven goals during the regular season.

Brown wore the captain's arm band and picked up the defensive slack when the back line was riddled with injuries and Bakary Soumare departed to Boulogne.

McBride missed eight games following shoulder surgery, but he recovered in time for the end of the regular season and the MLS playoffs.

The Fire advanced to the Eastern Conference finals this season, but fell short of the MLS Cup against eventual champion Real Salt Lake.