Friedrich joins the Fire

German World Cup veteran Arne Friedrich has signed a one year deal with the Fire.  The 32 year old defender, mostly recently with Wolfsburg was released in September at his request after suffering an injury that has kept him out of action until now.

Friedrich was a regular starting centerback for the German National team before suffering the knee injury that led to his release from Wolfsburg.  Friedrich also announced the signing this afternoon via his personal website.

How quickly he will be match fit and how he fits into the line-up with Cory Gibbs and Jalil Anibaba as the incumbent starters at his position remains to be seen.  If healthy, Friedrich can be one of the top defenders in MLS.


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  • Sounds like this is not a DP deal... still, I'm ambivalent. We don't want to be buying damaged goods...

  • In reply to Modibo:

    Which is probably why the Fire only agreed to a one year deal with him. If he gets injured again, it's nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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    Arne has been hurt for a while. It's also his back, not his knee. But with about a year's rest, I'm more worried about his fitness. I'm wondering why he never went back to Wolfsburg? He had a great contract there, and he asked to leave. I do not think the Fire are paying him anywhere near what they would be paying.

  • Reports are that his pay (non-DP) is in the range of $250k-300k. According to Klopas, he's been training for a while now. He wasn't asked to leave Wolfsburg though, he actually asked to be released from his contract, and they mutually parted ways.

  • I'm curious as to whether his contract is incentive laden along the lines of number of appearances etc. If the Fire have a world class central defender (who can also play on the right side by the way), then I think this is a good thing. If it doesn't work out, at least they took a shot.

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    I would not say he's world class anymore. But a definite improvement from what we could have expected in the free agent market at this time of year. Doesn't seem like quite the gamble we think he is, and at $250-300K it looks like he will play first team alongside Gibbs. One year sounds good right about now, however, I can see us sweating it if he plays well...

  • If he is healthy,Friedrich is probably more solid than Gibbs.
    It brings depth to what could have been a problem area with the Fire
    after losing Cuesta and Mikulic. With the new rookie defenders, the
    team is much more solid on defense than last year, looks like Kinney is the odd man out due to injuries. All we need is a quality striker.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    Yes I totally agree with you. I know we are top heavy on Strikers right
    now, but none are polished consistent Goal Scorers.
    A English Television and Radio Broadcast is also needed, I am
    surprised that the Fire haven't announced one yet.

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    It was very late even to announce ESPN Deportes, so we will be lucky to hear one. I hope luck is in the air.

  • As expected the Fire announce the signing of Paolo Tornaghi.....

    The Italian 'keeper is officially on the roster.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Has Berry been sign yet?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Berry is in.

  • TOTALLY off topic... but I happen to be in Durban, South Africa this week and noticed something of Chicago Fire interest.

    There's a boys' soccer club called Cherrians FC in the neighborhood where I'm working that left yesterday for a tour in Ohio (yeah, I know). Anyways, when I saw their logo, I did a double take:

    I don't know how these guys found the Fire logo, but the interesting thing is that they're using it as a model, and not an English or Spanish team - a very modest and superficial sign of MLS penetration. Funny, I'm walking around with my Fire hat on all the time and no one's said anything about it yet. Now I'm going to start asking questions...

  • In reply to Modibo:

    That is interesting......maybe they should look into adding another juniors club in South Africa. ;)

  • Anybody got any update on today's game? I can't get it here at the office as they block streaming audio/video.

    I saw the starting lineup posted on the Fire web page. Was wondering about Grazzini as he is again missing from the lineup. I worry that this preseason disappearing act may be an early sign of his fading "over the hill." Although I realize the staff wants to get a good look at these other midfielders and pretty much knows what they have in Grazzini, it makes me nervous not to see him playing in the preseason. Did he get subbed in later for some minutes? Is he still ill? Anyone know?

  • Grazzini still has a tweaked hammy. He didn't train much the last few days in Charleston, and was being held out of the lineup should the have played Charleston. Even during the impromptu hotel training session Saturday night, he was a no show.

    He didn't play at all today, was not in the lineup to the best of my knowledge. I think it's too early to speculate on anything, I'm optimistic that he and the club are just being overtly precautionary, but we'll see.

    Fire won 3-1 on a 1st half goal by Oduro, and second half goals by Paladini and Barouch. From what I understand, Paladini's was a screamer.

    Brendand Hannan also announced on the broadcast that the tv schedule would be released "sometime this week". I'm suspecting that waiting this long to release the schedule means a shift away from CSN, but we'll see.

  • In reply to Jeff Krause:

    Thanks Jeff!

  • Apparently the pitch is imploding during the reserve match. I'm sure GR will have some insight, but a Section 8 guy tweeted that a Fire trialist got sent off for a second yellow, and Barouch got sent off with a straight red for arguing w/ the ref. Trying to find out more, but maybe Guillermo can fill us in, as he's in attendance.

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    We could always dream of all games on WGN.

  • In reply to waam:

    It won't be that good but definitely better than what we've heard about.

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