The Chicago Fire will bring back German World Cup veteran Arne Friedrich for the 2013 season.
Here are the details from the club's release about the decision to re-sign the 6-foot-1, 170-pound defender:
"Building continuity at the center back positions is a priority in 2013," said Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. "Arne's international experience and leadership are key to our defense. We are happy to have him back next season."
Signed as a free agent on March 7, 2012, Friedrich made 23 appearances for the Men in Red, tallying one goal across 1832 minutes. The two-time German World Cup veteran patrolled the Fire backline that held opponents to 41 goals in the 2012 regular season, tied for second best in the Eastern Conference. Friedrich was selected the club's Defender of the Year for his efforts during the 2012 campaign.
Friedrich has represented the German national team 82 times since his first appearance in 2002. During that time, Friedrich helped Die Mannschaft to matching third place finishes at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. He also represented Germany at the 2004 and 2008 UEFA European Championships, helping his country to a runner-up finish in 2008. Capable of playing centrally or on the right side of the backline, Friedrich helped his national side to a third-place finish at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany.