Arne Friedrich retires

Herniated discs have forced defender Arne Friedrich into retirement. The Fire's 2012 Defender of the Year confirmed via his personal website this morning that he was terminating his contract with Chicago and retiring effective immediately. After injuring his back and hamstring shortly before the season opener, Friedrich traveled to Germany to receive treatment from a personal trainer and returned on March 27 with high hopes of playing again within a few weeks of his arrival.

Unfortunately he injured his back again in mid-April before, just before he was set to make his 2013 debut. The back issues were now more serious and another trip to Germany was scheduled with an expected return date to Chicago on July 1. The lack of progress in healing the injury made the need to wait until July unnecessary.

Friedrich wrote this message to fans this morning:

"After much consideration, a lot of time in rehab and in consultation with my doctors and therapists I have decided to end my career as a professional footballer. In recent weeks and months, I was concerned about my back problems increasingly. After 2 herniated discs my body is no longer able to meet the requirements as a professional athlete. Thus I have pulled my contract with Chicago Fire dissolving the consequence. I wish the club and the great fans all the best. It was a fantastic time with unbelievably great experience. I have made many friends in America in Chicago and found a kind of second home".

"For me the time has come to usher in a new phase of life but first I'm going to focus entirely on my health".

"I would like to warmly thank all the players, coaches, therapists and officials who have supported me over the last 12 years. I look back with deep satisfaction on a wonderful career and am now looking forward to opening a new door".

"Of course I'll keep you up to date"!

"Yours, Arne"

In anticipation of this eventual announcement, the Fire acquired Bakary Soumare from Philadelphia and moved him into the starting line-up immediately. Friedrich's announcement doesn't come as a surprise given his injury history and the Fire have seemingly found a competent replacement but the German's contributions to the club in only one season on the field should be admired. Highly respected in the locker room as well as on the field, he displayed class all the way up to the end of his illustrious career. Knowing that his retirement in midseason would free up a roster spot and valuable cap space Friedrich decided to retire now in order to give the organization the flexibility to add another quality player.

Class to the end.

 

 

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    Dude was PURE class for this organization. I really hope he comes back and visits once in a while.

  • In reply to Steve Sanders:

    Absolutely right! With Friedrich leading our backline, we never had much concern there. I feel he deserves a lot of credit for Berry's great rookie season. I don't think Austin would be suffering through the problems he's having now if Arne was there. Soumare is NO substitute, though I'm glad they got him.

    Our backline is now become a concern and the Fire should be alert for any opportunity to add a defender who can steady things there and work with Anibaba and Berry to further their development. We've got to get Berry settled and comfortable again. He's trying to do too much and failing miserably at times. He's had that "deer in headlights" look about him this season without Friedrich. Soumare has been an improvement over Thompson but his lapses are still putting too much pressure on Berry.

    All the best to Arne! Hope his back gets better and he can get on with the next phase of his life. He was great for the Fire and will always be well remembered here.

  • It'd be great to have a player like him as a liaison or ambassador of sorts for the club in europe. It seems like he sincerely enjoyed his time in Chicago and playing for the organization, that can only help moving forward.

    A great footballer and a seemingly great guy, glad he finished his time with the Fire.

    Btw, wasn't he listed as having an injured hip on the injury reports?

  • In reply to Drew:

    It was called "hip tightness" on the injury report. Seems the whole back, hamstring, hip area was affected.

    He genuinely loves the city and will be back from time to time I'm sure.

  • In the article on his retirement from the Fire website, it was suggested that Arne would be back for a proper send-off at a game later in the season.

    Big thanks to Arne, and I'm hoping that the Fire can somehow keep him involved in the orgzanization.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Sorry to see him go, particularly due to injuries.
    He has been a great asset to the team. It would be nice
    to have him in the Fire organization, like back line coach,
    or a talent scout as he probably has more soccer I.Q. then
    anyone else in the organization.
    Wishing him the best.

  • Thanks Arne. Wish you were here longer, but so glad we still had a chance to see you play.

  • Arne was one of those players that seemed like he played for the Fire much longer than he did because of his contribution to the team. He embraced the city and the fans and was everything you'd hope for from a player. He could have collected a paycheck for the rest of the season but chose to do the right thing for the team. Class act guy and I have nothing but respect for him, best wishes to Arne!

  • Latest episode of the podcast is up with talk about Arne Friedrich and wins over Colorado and Columbus (twice)....

    http://firepodfc.com/

  • Class guy.

    And to all those people who voted for a Austin Berry bobblehead over an Arne one, WTF were you thinking?

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