The latest Fire signing sure caused a fire storm on both social media and news outlets. The Chicago Fire officially announced on Tuesday March 21 the signing of World Cup Champion Bastian Schweinsteiger from Manchester United. Schweinsteiger won the 2014 World Cup with Germany. Maybe this partnership with the Fire was meant to be Schweinsteiger began his career at German Giants Bayern Munich at age 14 in 1998, the same year the Fire played their First season in MLS. He won the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich. Schweinsteiger said of this new opportunity “Throughout my career, I have always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to make something great. My move to the Chicago Fire is no different”
As soon as the news broke social media lit up with well wishes for Schweinsteiger. Former Germany teammate and Fire Player Arne Friedrich tweeted “Happy to hear that Chicago Fire signed Bastian Schweinsteiger it seems to become a German tradition. Great choice Basti.” Fellow Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney Tweeted Good Luck on the next chapter of your special career.” Ashley Young tweeted all the best SCHNAK Hope you enjoy the next chapter of your journey mate.” Even Manchester United legend Sir Alec Ferguson has chimed in during a visit to the USA, saying “his move will come at the right time for him. “He’s a huge figure. He’s very popular with the United Players and fans, and he’ll make an impact.” What story will he write at the Fire remains to be played out during the season? Other media outlets have been scratching their heads over the trade. But General Manager Nelson Rodriguez is quick to point out the huge soccer IQ he will bring to the team. Many are citing his lack of playing time at Manchester United, but this could work well for the Fire since he will come rested and ready to compete. He is after all still training in Manchester. When asked about Schweinsteiger’s age, Rodriguez was quick to point out that David Villa came to the league he was 33 and will turn 36 this season, he is still playing at a very high level in MLS. Schweinsteiger is only 32.
Whatever your opinion of the trade, it is clear that the Fire have served notice “they are burning the wooden spoon this season, may it never return again.” Maybe this is a match made in heaven, after all Schweinsteiger is married to Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic who won the same Serbian May award as Veljko Paunovic.