The Chicago Fire are riding a rollercoaster in 2017 as they signed reigning World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger just three days after taking a drubbing in Atlanta. The 32 year old German departs Manchester United on a reported one year $4.5 million deal. Schweinsteiger now dons the crown as most decorated Fire and MLS player ever and among its highest paid. The eight time Bundesliga winner will join his new club during the International break and could feature at Toyota Park as soon as April 1st.
Fire’s Rollercoaster Rebuild Nets Schweinsteiger
March 21, 2017 is now an important date in the Chicago Fire yearbook. ”This is a historic moment for our club,” Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez said. “We have added one of the greatest champions in all of sports. Bastian’s talents, attitude, and character will be a perfect complement to our squad as we continue building a championship program.” Fire Owner and chairman Andrew Hauptman added “Bastian Schweinsteiger is one of our sport’s greatest champions, We are excited for soccer fans everywhere to have the opportunity to watch the most decorated player in the league during the Fire’s 20th season.”
“This is a historic moment.”
This announcement is no doubt a watershed moment for the club, and really alters the perception of the Fire’s opening three games of 2017. Saturday’s performance in Atlanta was a low point but may now be more easily forgotten. The Fire play don’t until after the FIFA break and the arrival of the famous number 31. The Fire will then have an unusual three game home stand in April to show off their new superstar.
Schweinsteiger Should Impact Both On and Off the Field
2017 is turning into a wild ride for the Fire and the clubs rebuilding process is getting ever the more aggressive. The Fire now have a totally rebuilt midfield with Schweinsteiger joining Dax McCarty and Juninho. “Having the strongest possible midfield is essential for how we want to play,” said Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “We see Bastian helping our organization of the attack, and impacting the final third build-up with his vision and creativity to produce the final pass, as well as his capacity to score goals. His versatility on the field, and his immense experience at the highest levels of this sport will be a great benefit to our team.”
The biggest asset the German star will bring to the Fire in open play will be keeping possession of the ball. The fifteen year professional may not have the spring in his step he once had but his quality on the ball will be huge. Schweinsteiger should be able to hold the ball, show for the ball, and linkup with the forwards in ways not yet shown by the Fire in 2017. Off the field, what will his impact be as a member of the Chicago Fire? No matter the answer these are exciting times for the Fire and Fire fans. The rollercoaster rebuild of 2017 rolls on for the Men In Red when they face the Montreal Impact April 1st.