It began four months ago in an Italian restaurant in Manchester and it’s ending in the signature of German international and World Cup Champion Bastian Schweinsteiger signing with the Chicago Fire. The one year Designated Player contract includes a $4.5 million annual salary with an option for a second season.
Chicago Fire Sign Bastian Schweinsteiger
This move arguably clutter the central midfield a bit It was already their best area on their roster. Regardless, Schweinsteiger, who could join the club as early as this week, will slot comfortably into Chicago’s starting XI next to fellow newcomer Dax McCarty. The 32-year-old may not have what it takes to compete in the physical Premier League anymore, but he’s got plenty of legs left for MLS.
Schweinsteiger signed with Manchester United ahead of the 2015-16 Premier League season after spending 12 championship filled seasons at Bayern Munich. He has only played 13 Premier League matches for the Red Devils and none of them have come in this campaign. His only domestic start came in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic, where he scored the team’s fourth goal.
Playing time will not be a problem in Chicago. He should slip right into the central midfield next to McCarty, a spot that has been occupied by Juninho and Jonathan Goosens in their first three games. He may need some time to get up to speed thanks to his bench warming with Manchester United, but he should be able to become a productive MLS player once he gets into the swing of things. If the recent tales of Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard have told us anything it’s that older Europeans can succeed in the States once they settle in.
Even if his time in MLS doesn’t amount to overwhelming success on the pitch he still should attract a lot of attention to a franchise that has fallen on hard times. The Fire have struggled to fill Toyota Park with the team finishing dead last in the Eastern Conference in each of the last two years. Schweinsteiger should put some butts in seats thanks to his international pedigree.
The Fire are off to a 1-1-1 start on the young season and will take on Montreal Impact at home on April 1 in what could be Schweinsteiger’s debut with the club.