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MLS- Chicago Fire

Fire sign German star Bastian Schweinsteiger

A long-rumored, major roster move in Chicago has moved from the realm of wishful fantasy to reality.

Former Bayern Munich and German National Team legend, and current Manchester United midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteiger has reportedly officially agreed to join the Chicago Fire effective immediately pending a physical and visa application, reports the Chicago Tribune. The-32 year-old midfielder could join the team as early as next week, as the Fire send a signal to the league that they’re ready to begin competing once again after two seasons at the bottom of the standings.

“Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great,” Schweinsteiger said. “My move to Chicago Fire is no different. Through my conversations with Nelson and Pauno, I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy and I want to help them with this project.”

Schweinsteiger has reportedly signed a 1-year Designated Player deal that will pay the German midfielder $4.5 million, and includes a mutual option for an additional year. The move has been long discussed, as Schweinsteiger has found himself on the outer fringes of Manchester United’s squad since Jose Mourinho took over the team last summer. He has yet to appear in a Premier League match this season, but did play in the team’s January 29th FA Cup match, where he recorded a goal and an assist, and has appeared as a substitute once since then.

Though now retired from the National Team, Schweinsteiger has been a regular fixture in the German roster since 2004 and has earned 121 caps and notched 24 goals for his country, while winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Schweinsteiger is also an eight-time Bundesliga champion with Bayern Munich, as well as having won the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League title. Prior to his Manchester United move, Schweinsteiger spent 13 years with the German giants, logging an amazing 500 appearances and recording 68 goals.

“We’re adding someone who has won at every level, including the very highest levels, and has done so in a way that is consistent with our values,” Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez told the Chicago Tribune. “We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, an accountability level. Previously, I think we could satisfy ourselves with what is known domestically. Now we need to rise to a standard that is set more internationally.”

Schweinsteiger’s paperwork could complete as early as next week, allowing him to join the Fire during the international break, potentially debuting on April 1 against the Montreal Impact.

26 comments
  • Beto

    “I’m convinced by the club’s vision and philosophy” hahahhahahaha ok $4.5m, sure

    Like

  • Old School

    It’s hard to feel pity for someone about to make 4.5 million dollars, but this is one of those rare exceptions.

    Like

    • whammmm

      I think Atlanta still gives them a run for their money. They look pretty impressive for a team that was (hypothetically) just thrown together. Lots to he hopeful about there. Be glad you’re not from Minnesota!

      Like

      • brett

        definitely helped being up a man for nearly the entire game, but yes, ATL look a dangerous side no one should underestimate.

        Like

  • Matt

    Another wasteful signing by Chicago that will surely end in disappointment. $4.5 million for a midfielder who can’t run anymore. The Fire and the league need to invest in young players that appreciate in value, rather than guys like Pig-climber with nothing left in the tank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark

      Let’s wait and see what he has left in the tank. Football isn’t all about running. You need skills, experience and someone who knows the game at the highest level. Believe me Schweini has enough to give to a league in which the MVP is already 34 !

      Like

    • Grunt

      Sure, Chicago signed him from MU because he can’t run anymore.

      Schweinsteiger is class. If he brings a competitive attitude (a la Beckam post-year one), he will elevate everyone around him.

      Like

      • Matt

        Let’s continue this discussion in the inevitable “Schweinsteiger Out for the Remainder of the Season” article. Money should be spent on young talent, similar to what Atlanta is doing. Money spent poorly is worse than the money he hasn’t been spending at all. This team is incompetently managed.

        Like

  • MLSsnob

    Hey, we kept complaining when Hauptman wouldn’t spend money. At least now he did. Too bad that Bastian doesn’t really add much other than selling jerseys.

    Like

    • Grunt

      Spring has clearly arrived…the nay-saying nelly’s are popping up like daisies around here.

      Like

      • MLSsnob

        It’s the Fire, man. When have you known them to make good moves?

        Like

    • brett

      yup, he’s ponied up the cash (took some time to do so). At this point you can’t blame this signing on Andrew and must fall squarely on Nelson and Pauno. Hopefully they were right to bring him in.

      Like

  • Adam M.

    Let’s all be clear about one thing: 32 isn’t old. Ronaldo is 32. Iniesta is 32. Dani Alves is 33. Zlatan is 35. Etc. That doesn’t mean a given 32-old will produce, or that he is worth a money. But a healthy 32 isn’t old.

    Like

      • Mark

        He’s better with no knees left than the most MLS players with both healthy knees !

        Like

      • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

        And we have it…he is better than MLS players with no legs!!!

        I am not saying he won’t succeed, I don’t have an opinion, other than I wouldn’t have signed him because it is too risky.
        BUT
        Watch Pirlo/Lampard get destroyed last year for the opposing argument. 7-0 in two leg playoff series?

        Like

  • Turkmenbashy

    hahaha RETIREMENT LEAGUE. signings like this SCREAM retirement league. What a joke. and to all those people who are all like… Ronaldo is 32… 32 isn’t old… well, yeah. If you aren’t fat, and can run… 32 might not be old (nota bene that Ronaldo is in decline too and Madrid would be wise to get rid of him now) for someone who isn’t asked to play defense… but its old for Fat Ronaldo and its old for Fat Schweini. This has retirement league written on it just as much as Kaka’s signing.

    Like

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      I think a lot of MLS fans think these type of signings are not smart.
      And a lot of trolls.

      Which one are you?

      Like

      • Turkmenbashy

        Not a Chicago fan… I have had season tix since the inaugural season… more for support than because I enjoyed watching the games. God, the product was un-watchable for more than a decade… I must have given away years of tickets… Now it is at least watchable, and sometimes enjoyable. I almost always go now. But this shit won’t improve the league, or the product on the field. Hell, sign him up as a development academy person for $4M and buy a young Argentinian/ Brazilian/ Colombian etc. kid.

        Like

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