With a 2014 World Cup under his belt and after starring for Bayern Munich from 2002 to 2015, Bastian Schweinsteiger has become a legend in Germany. However, while the midfielder had most recently signed on with Manchester United, a recent falling out has caused the two sides to part ways. While Schweinsteiger would like to play for United, their manager Jose Mourinho hasn’t let him train with the team, or even take part in the team photo, after returning from a knee injury sustained in March. This kind of treatment has opened up the possibility that the midfielder could end up in the MLS, and the team that holds his discovery rights is none other than the Chicago Fire.
In fact, Schweinsteiger was seen dining out with Fire manager Veljko Paunovic in Cheshire. While there has been nothing further reported, signing a player with Schweinsteiger’s pedigree is as about as exciting as it gets when the Fire are stuck in last place, yet again.
Does it make sense for the Fire to be messing around with a 32-year-old rather than focusing on developing young talent? On the business side, the prospect of seeing an international star can only increase ticket sales, given the current product on the field. Meanwhile from a team standpoint, Schweinsteiger’s considerable experience on and off the field should have a positive trickle down effect on the rest of the young roster. While that may be a rather optimistic outlook, whenever Schweinsteiger does return to action he’s going to be plenty motivated to perform well and show his doubters what they’re missing out on. At the very least, it would be a fun story to watch unfold if Schweinsteiger were to come to Chicago, so from a fans perspective I’m all for it.
With that said, it’s hard to get excited about adding a relatively high profile international player after the repeated disappointments of losing out on Jermaine Jones and Didier Drogba in consecutive years. Perhaps Schweinsteiger can put an end to that streak and help begin a new era of Chicago Fire soccer. There’s nowhere to go from here but up.