Schweinsteiger looks forward to another season with Chicago Fire

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco (left) moves the ball past Chicago Fire's Bastian Schweinsteiger during an April match in Toronto.

    Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco (left) moves the ball past Chicago Fire's Bastian Schweinsteiger during an April match in Toronto. Associated Press

  • Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Bastian Schweinsteiger

 
 
Updated 11/28/2018 12:11 PM

The Chicago Fire announced Wednesday it has re-signed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as a designated player for the 2019 season.

Schweinsteiger, 34, won a World Cup with Germany in 2014. In his first two seasons in Chicago, he has played in 55 regular-season matches, starting in 53. He scored 7 goals and assisted on 12 more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Fire (8-18-8, 32 points) finished in 10th place in 2018 in the 11-team Eastern Conference.

"Let's raise a trophy. I believe in this club and I believe that we can be champions," Schweinsteiger said via a club media release. "This American journey has been very special for me and my family. I love being a part of the Chicago Fire and we appreciate how the city has embraced us with open arms. To the Fire fans, from my family to yours, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season and I will see you in Chicago next year."

Schweinsteiger is married to retired tennis professional Ana Ivanovic. The couple welcomed a son in March.

Schweinsteiger was paid $6.1 million for the 2018 season, according to the MLS Players Association.

"In a lot of ways Basti has come to embody our club, the prototypical Fire player and the spirit of Chicago: industrious, intelligent, enthusiastic, talented and world-class," said Fire president and general manager Nelson Rodriguez in the release. "His return demonstrates our continuing effort to build a championship program, both on and off the field."

Schweinsteiger's signing brings the roster to 16 players. The Fire announced earlier this week it had picked up the contract options on seven players and declined the contract options on seven others.

Rodriguez has said he hopes to re-sign coach Veljko Paunovic to return for a fourth season. Also out of contract are defenders Johan Kappelhof and Matt Polster, both of whom the club hopes to re-sign. The Fire also is negotiating with Michael de Leeuw, whose contract option was not picked up.

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