March 21, 2017

Chicago Fire Sign Bastian Schweinsteiger: Only three years removed from a start in a World Cup Final victory, Bastian Schweinsteiger has become the latest big name to move to the MLS, signing a one-year, $4.5 million designated player contract with the Chicago Fire with a second-year option. Schweinsteiger wasn't in Jose Mourinho's plans since he took over at Manchester United and hadn't played a Premier League game this season, but he had a goal and an assist in an FA Cup match in January.

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:19 AM - 9 comments

I've been watching more MLS lately as I adopt Orlando City SC. It's an entertaining league on the rise that is punching above its weight in fan support. Deadspin derides this as another "washed-up" old guy signing, but at 32 Schweinsteiger should be a star if he wants to be.

With a name like that, he needs a Chicago bratwurst endorsement deal.

posted by rcade at 09:24 AM on March 21

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:12 AM on March 21

This decree just in from his majesty Greg Oden:

"Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz"

posted by beaverboard at 12:03 PM on March 21

I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to the footballing world. However, in watching the '14 World Cup, Schweinsteiger really jumped out at me as one to engage in theatrics. (This is not intended to be one of those 'hurr durr soccer pussies' posts). Was my perception accurate - is he known for the theatrical aspect of the game? or am I way off base and influenced by small sample/large stage bias? If I am correct, how is that going to go over with an MLS/Chicago crowd? Just curious.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:12 PM on March 21

I just contacted a friend in Chicago who is a big soccer fan, and he's happy "they finally signed someone worth watching." I can't say he's represents all Chicago supporters, but I'm sure there are many people, myself included, who are happy to see more quality of any kind come into MLS.

posted by sbacharach at 03:16 PM on March 21

is he known for the theatrical aspect of the game?

Not that I ever remember. He seemed like a Teutonic Terminator on those great Bayern and German national teams. Maybe as his legs go he's branching out, but I doubt he'll need to emote to compete in MLS for a year or two.

posted by yerfatma at 11:08 AM on March 22

Teutonic Terminator

Thanks for that (any redundancy aside)!

posted by tahoemoj at 11:46 AM on March 22

I doubt he'll need to emote to compete in MLS for a year or two

That may or may not be true. Many foreign players who come into MLS don't seem to realize how physical the league can be - not crunching tackles, rather a lot of running and long travel to away games and as well as hotter temperatures than they are accustomed too.

posted by sbacharach at 12:36 PM on March 22

long travel to away games

So, for fun, I mapped out the travel distances for the Chicago Fire this season:

For all their away games listed on their 2017 schedule that aren't pre-season matches, they would have to travel 28,564 miles (round trip, as the crow flies, calculated here). That's for 17 listed away games, on in the US and Canada, and does not include any possible playoff matches or other currently unscheduled matches (other Cups/Leagues?).

And, in turn, mapped out the travel distances for Manchester United this season:

For all their away games listed on their 2016-17 schedule (non-exhibition, August 2016 to May 2017), they would have to travel 17,924 miles (round trip, as the crow flies, calculated here). That's for 29 listed away games, in the UK, Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Turkey, and Ukraine. It does not include any other unscheduled cup/league matches to be determined.

The two longest trips were by ManU to Zorya Luhansk (1812 miles) and FC Rostov (1944 miles). The longest trip for Chicago was to Portland (1756 miles) or LA (1744 miles) (it could be either depending on airport locations and such).

Chicago's shortest travel distance was two matches in Columbus (276 miles). ManU's shortest travel distance (other than their ManCity derby of 0 miles) is Brunley (21 miles).

Chicago had no one-way travel under 200 miles. ManU had almost 80% of their matches within 200 miles of their home, and almost 50% of their matches had less than 105 miles in one-way travel.

One major difference is that imagine most of the travel for ManU to other UK locations would be by train or bus.

posted by grum@work at 01:50 PM on March 22

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