Chicago Fire blocked Fulham’s attempt to bring veteran striker Brian McBride back to Craven Cottage on loan at the tail end of the transfer window.

The MLS side turned down Fulham’s approach to take the 36 year-old on loan until the end of the season as they wanted him to be involved at the start of their own domestic campaign. Fire technical director Frank Klopas said:

“Our main goal is to win a championship. Brian is an important part of that. It was important to have him here from the beginning. He came here late last season.”

McBride scored 40 goals in 153 appearances for Fulham. He left the English club in late May so he could move back to his native Arlington Heights. He scored five goals in 11 games after signing with the Fire in August.

The Fire opens the regular season at FC Dallas on March 21. Klopas said McBride would have missed a few regular-season games if he was loaned to Fulham.

“It speaks volumes about the guy that they’re still after him,” Klopas said.