Sch­we­in­steiger’s fit­ness will be tested in MLS

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BER­LIN: Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger will have a key role on and off the pitch for Chicago Fire but won’t have an easy ride in Ma­jor League Soccer, warned a for­mer Ger­many team­mate who played for the MLS side.

The 32-year-old Sch­we­in­steiger, a World Cup win­ner who spent 14 years at Bay­ern Mu­nich, signed for Chicago this week af­ter an un- happy stint at Manch- es­ter United.

Arne Friedrich, who played for Chicago Fire from 2012 to 2013, says the mid­fielder can ex­pect a hands-on role and his fit­ness to be sorely tested — Sch­we­in­steiger has suf­fered a se­ries of in­juries in re­cent sea­sons.

“In con­trast to Bay­ern Mu­nich or Manch­ester United, he will get a lot more in­sights into what goes on be­hind the scenes in Chicago,” Friedrich told Ger­man daily Bild.

“This was no dif­fer­ent for me. He will be in­volved in de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses which are not di­rectly re­lated to the game.

“With­out know­ing what his fu­ture plans are, he will be able to learn a lot that will help him when his play­ing ca­reer is over.”

Sch­we­in­steiger, who scored 24 goals in 121 Ger­many ap­pear­ances, kept him­self fit de­spite a lack of chances with United, which will help in Chicago, said Friedrich.

“From the per­for­mance level the Amer­i­can league can be com­pared with the up­per part of the Bun­desliga’s sec­ond di­vi­sion,” said Friedrich, who won 82 caps for Ger­many.

“Above all, Bas­tian should be in a good phys­i­cal con­di­tion be­cause all the play­ers there are fit.

“Fit­ness has tra­di­tion­ally been a high pri­or­ity in Amer­ica, but tac­ti­cally and in terms of the games he has played in, Bas­tian has a great ad­van­tage.” AFP

Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger

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