The Chicago Fire's gamble on Bastian Schweinsteiger worked out so well last season, the club decided to do it again.
The Fire announced Wednesday night it has re-signed Schweinsteiger for the 2018 season. Terms were not disclosed, but Schweinsteiger will be paid as a designated player. Schweinsteiger earned $5.4 million in 2017, according to MLS Players Association figures, by far the highest salary on the team and one of the highest in the league.
The Fire and Schweinsteiger have been in talks on a new contract since the season ended in October.
Schweinsteiger is expected to join the team Monday when players report for preseason training. The Fire opens the season March 10 at home against Sporting Kansas City.
Schweinsteiger last year contributed 3 goals and 6 assists to the Fire's best season since 2009, leading the club to third in the overall MLS standings and back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. As a DP, the Fire will need Schweinsteiger to stay healthy and produce again this year.
Schweinsteiger missed seven games in 2017 because of injury and couldn't start the playoff game, a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. At age 33 -- turning 34 on Aug. 1 -- he could be slowing down and becoming more injury-prone.
The Schweinsteiger signing proved popular off the field last year, when his No. 31 ranked second in MLS jersey sales.
The Fire still has a lot of work to do this season. Schweinsteiger's signing brings the Fire roster to 21 players, but that includes four goalkeepers and two players who will spend the first half of the season rehabbing torn ACLs, Djordje Mihailovic and Michael de Leeuw.