The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that the club has re-signed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as a Designated Player for the 2018 season.
“I am very happy to re-sign with the Chicago Fire, and to continue what we started in 2017,” Schweinsteiger said. “Last year was a special moment for my career, but it felt incomplete without a trophy. But I am sure we can create another memorable season with the support of our great fans. I love this city, this sport, and winning, so I look forward to another season with the Fire as we progress to hopefully another level of success.”
The German midfielder joined the Fire on March 21, 2017 and appeared in a total of 24 regular season matches, scoring three goals and adding six assists.
In addition to scoring in his MLS debut against the Montreal Impact on April 1, Schweinsteiger scored game-winning goals against the New England Revolution on April 15 and the Montreal Impact on Sept. 2. He additionally tallied six assists as the Fire finished the regular season with the third best overall record in the league.
For his efforts, Schweinsteiger was named to his first MLS All-Star Game and captained the side against Real Madrid at Soldier Field on Aug. 2.
“It was a priority to re-sign Bastian and we’re pleased that he will remain with the club,” said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez. “He’s a proven winner who was an integral part of our success in 2017. Bastian’s talent combined with his character and qualities off the field are vital to our squad as we continue to build a championship program.”
A reigning World Cup champion with Germany in 2014, Schweinsteiger’s international debut came on June 6, 2004 against Hungary, launching a national team career that would lead to appearances in three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014) and four UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). He holds the German record for most UEFA European Championship appearances with 18, a mark he achieved in 2016 as captain of Die Mannschaft. Internationally, he boasts 24 goals in 121 appearances for Germany.
As a club player, Schweinsteiger helped Bayern Munich to the UEFA Champions League crown in 2012-13, a year in which he also earned Bundesliga Player of the Year honors. Schweinsteiger won eight Bundesliga titles during his time with Bayern Munich, and also has seven DFB-Pokal (German Cup) championships. In all, the German international has been a part of 23 major domestic and international cups during his playing career.
During his 16-year club career, Schweinsteiger has amassed 73 goals and 109 assists in 559 first team games. He signed his first professional contract in December of 2002, joining Bayern Munich after four years in their youth system. Schweinsteiger remained with the Bavarian side for 13 years before his move to Manchester United in July of 2015.
The Men in Red begin regular season play when they host Opening Day against Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Park on Saturday, March 10 at 5 p.m. CT. Tickets are available by calling 888-MLS-FIRE or visiting Chicago-Fire.com/tickets. Single-game tickets for all 2018 Chicago Fire home matches go on sale Friday, Jan. 19.