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4 ways to look at the Chicago Fire signing Bastian Schweinsteiger

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He could reinvigorate a struggling team. Or he could be a bad investment, a bad tactical fit, and reflect poorly on MLS.

Manchester United v Wigan Athletic - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The Chicago Fire announced on Tuesday that they've signed Bastian Schweinsteiger from Manchester United, and it's a move that's drawing mixed reactions.

If you're a Fire fan, you can choose to be excited. Hot Time in Old Town's James Bridget Gordon is. "I’m sitting here writing this and thinking about an inverted midfield triangle of Schweini-Dax-Juninho and I keep getting lost in a reverie," they wrote. "And with his years of experience and leadership qualities, the dressing room will start to stitch itself together in a way we haven’t seen in a long time."

Your newsletter writer is less optimistic. I think it's a bad investment for Chicago, and I don't think he's a good tactical fit. This is also an organization that has signed a lot of bad DPs and failed to win a playoff game for the last eight years, so they don't deserve the benefit of the doubt.

So how will he fit in the team? Top Drawer Soccer's Will Parchman tried to work it out, and he struggled. "You can’t ask Juninho or Dax McCarty to play as anything other than twin defensive engines and not expect to kneecap your builds," Parchman says. "And I’m not convinced Schweinsteiger’s heat maps will be all that bloody on the north end of the halfway line. Which means you’re probably asking a lot from your forward to drop in and from your wingers to pinch to find the ball."

At Fox Soccer, Nate Scott takes the angle that Schweinsteiger's signing reflects poorly on MLS. "The lessons have been learned, or so we thought," he wrote. "This is the future. The thing that gets people excited is winning. Play fun soccer, win games, the fans will turn up ... Signing big, known, aging names? That might work for a week or two, but if the soccer is dire, who’s turning up?"

There's no doubt that Schweinsteiger is one of the best players of his generation, but is he a good signing for the Fire? Time will tell, but most analysts think he isn't.

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