Tha Sports Junkies 101

Bastian Schweinsteiger is to join Chicago Fire

Bastian Schweinsteiger is to join Chicago Fire Photo credit to Indolivescore ils via Flickr

MLS

Former German International Bastian Schweinsteiger is to join Chicago Fire for $4.5 million

Chicago, IL – Former German international Bastian Schweinsteiger is to join Chicago Fire from Manchester United.

The German World Cup winner has struggled for opportunities since moving to Old Trafford in 2015. Falling our of favor after Jose Mourinho took over last May.

In the meantime, the 32-year-old midfielder could suit up for Chicago as early as next week, as reported by Rich Campbell of The Chicago Tribune.

The Fire on Monday acquired Schweinsteiger from Manchester United, finalizing a move that injects credibility and international star power into a rebuilding club that has finished at the bottom of the standings the last two seasons.

Schweinsteiger, 32, comes to Chicago as only the second reigning World Cup champion to move to MLS. He could join coach Veljko Paunovic’s team by the middle of next week, depending on his P1 visa application and a physical.

“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 said. “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 said on manutd.com: “I am sad to leave so many friends at Manchester United. But I am grateful to the club for allowing me the chance to take up the challenge at Chicago Fire.”

How effective will Schweinsteiger be for Fire?

The Chicago Fire have not had a winning record since the 2013 season where they missed the playoffs. While he was a centerpiece for Bayern Munich in winning eight Bundesliga, his move to Manchester shrunk everything he did before. He made his first start for the Red Devils in over a year in the FA Cup back in January. Since, he has only appeared in one match, as a substitute.

Furthermore, health problems have been a major concern over the last couple of years. Needless to say, he’s got a lot mileage on his body as he’s been playing since he was 18.

There’s no way of knowing how much impact he will have on the team at the age of 32. The Fire seem to be in a rebuilding state and while he may have playing time, the value of it may not be what the fans want.

Falling short of the top six slots in the Eastern Conference would be a disappointment.