Schweinsteiger frustrated in another home loss

Bastian Schweinsteiger signed with the Chicago Fire in 2017 knowing that the team was coming off two consecutive wooden spoon seasons, and that there was work to be done with a team who had not reached the playoffs since 2012. After a mostly successful campaign earned them a third place finish in the league and a return to the playoffs resulting in a first round exit against New York Red Bulls, the Fire’s woes experienced at the end of 2017 have continued in 2018. The team’s struggles were on display Sunday afternoon via a 3-2 home loss to the Houston Dynamo.

The Fire surrendered an early goal at the hands of Romell Quioto in the 4th minute, but then hit back with two unanswered goals in the first half to take a 2-1 lead. That advantage evaporated as the Fire came out flat in the second half, managing just one shot on target in the final 45 minutes while surrendering two unanswered goals of their own by Alberth Elis to give Houston the full three points. The loss left the Fire at 3-6-2 overall with a record at home of 2-4-1.

The match and the post-game commentary is beginning to reveal just how frustrating this season has been for the 33-year old midfielder.

“We were leading 2-1, we came back I think in a good way,” Schweinsteiger said after Sunday’s loss. “We gave away the penalty in the game. And that’s not good enough, that’s clear. We play at home, too many losses. There are some situations in the game where you have a feeling, ‘okay, we’re in a good way,’ but then we kill our self unnecessarily.”

Part of the Fire’s problem this year has certainly been a lack of reinforcements in the offseason and addressing holes in the roster, despite bringing seven players in since the end of the 2017 season. Schweinsteiger has not hidden his displeasure on the pitch with players throughout the team’s first eleven games, often gesturing and throwing his hands up in frustration at his teammates’ lack of acumen. Rumors have also circulated that veteran players were unhappy with the lack of significant additions to the roster during the winter transfer window, and most hope has now been placed on the summer window to help the Fire get the players they need to stem the tide that has them on track to miss the playoffs once again.

After Sunday’s loss, Schweinsteiger seemed to indicate that another issue in the club’s struggle to gain results thus far this season also stemmed from the club’s overall mentality.

“Everyone has to step up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a guy like Alan Gordon or a rookie. Everyone has to give their best performance, not only on the weekend but also during the week. I’ve played soccer professionally since 2002 and I try to improve every single day and that is my attitude, everyone has to have that attitude. Not only the players but the kit man, the physios, the coaches, everyone has to have that otherwise you will be stuck and that’s not good. Of course, we can always say week to week, ‘we have to look forward, we have to look forward and forget about that,’ but I disagree. At the moment, we have to step up, everyone has to take responsibility. Should not always be the veteran players, every player on the field has to step up.”

With the Fire currently on pace to win just nine games in 2018, one would hope that both the club’s mentality as well as their roster experience a dramatic shift in the coming weeks if they want to stay on target and come close to reaching a milestone in General Manager Nelson Rodriguez’s three-year plan of becoming a championship contender once again.

Filed under: 2018 regular season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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    But this can't be a surprise. The Fire never replaced Meira and Juninho, even Alvarez. They also knew deLeeuw would be out for a long time, and we also lost Goosens. Solignac was a nice surprise last year but we got him basically for nothing from Colorado and he was never targeted as an impact player. Were they really expecting Djordevic and rookies and HG's to be starters and impact players? Collier? So last minute, out of desperation, we picked up whomever was unwanted, who would normally be for depth: Christian Dean, Ellis, Gordon and Tchani. And now they're starting. Also starting are Collier, Lillard, Adams and Campos who should only be spot starters, or at least not all of them together. This is MLS 2.0: the team consists of one big star Schweinsteiger, quality players Kappelhoff, Nikolic, McCarty, and a bunch of kids and MLS backups. And Schweinsteiger isn't worth nearly $6M because he doesn't have much impact on his own—having him only makes sense if you build a quality team around him (which you probably can't do if you spent $6M on a fill-in sweeper..

  • Spot on Alex. I really do appreciate VP's honesty in "it is what it is". The ugly truth is our starting 11 is not MLS quality (and hasn't been for years). That falls on AH, NR and VP, or, the triumvirate of mediocrity, for not building a roster of both quality and depth.

    IMHO, the triumvirate has been (for years) playing sabermetrics. Build a roster with a 10, a few 8's and everyone else 5-7s and hope they play like a 7.5 as a team. Does not work in this game. Its not wooden spoon quality, but not playoff quality either.

    Best wishes to #2, heal up and get back to USMNT camp. No matter how the faces or names have changed in the medical staff this setback has the stink of the Mike Magee fiasco all over it

  • Tchiani, an awful pick to give up TAM and pay $300,000? The real paradox for this team, run by amateurs is that they trade for or buy players like Juninho, Katai, Tchiani and drastically overpay while young homegrowns sit and watch. Disaster.

  • Is Connor hurt? Not sure why he isn't getting time at RB.
    Also, this team needs to get more athletic..more speed, and physicality.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    And could they at least do something to make me more inclined to remember when their games start?!?

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Yes, Connor is hurt. This is the injury report from the Houston preview:
    Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL sprain), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury), M - Jon Bakero (right ankle injury), M - Drew Conner (right gastric injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Dax McCarty (hamstring strain)

  • Watching this round table is so frustrating. NR comes off as a pompous ass. His comments come across, to me, as we are lucky to be listening to him speak. He literally just said that he can't think of a better player on earth than Basti. Now I'm not professional scout, but I watch a lot of the game. I could name at least 100 players who are better than him. He was also talking about Pauno and how he has done very well for his first 2.5 years. That is false. He has 26W-34L-19D over that span. 104GF - 126 GA (-22 GD) and a total of 97 points through 79 games for a whopping 1.22 PPG. He took the best team at the beginning of last year and played them into the ground. He has literally done nothing to warrant a new deal. At the beginning of this season, he has done enough to be let go right now, IMO. He also just brushed aside attendance and TV deals. Basti was a fantastic signing. Best of both worlds. He brought fans in and was a top 5 player in the league. Fans come to see him play last year and then came back because they were playing well. This season, they don't even come anymore. Whatever they are saying their attendance is, is not actual butts in seats. As for the "TV" deal, I have been a STH since 2008. I have ESPN+. I cannot be their target audience. This club should be putting their product everywhere. Instead, they put their product nowhere. You can't go to a bar and ask them to plug in their computer and project it up there. You literally cannot watch the Chicago Fire at a bar. You cannot scroll through channels and see that the Fire are playing and watch it. It should be seen as a huge problem that nobody can watch the game. I would LOVE to know the number of viewers they are getting for their matches.

  • I'm curious to know what Pauno could do with a roster that has good depth in back-to-back years. And a different ownership group.

  • Conner is back. Look for Johnson to make an impact in the next few days. Basti , best player on Earth? He's not even the best player on the Fire. Nelson is a charlatan. and I stopped listening to him a few years ago. He has a dubious reputation in the MLS and US Soccer. Big hat , no cattle. The Fire needs a coach that the players and community can get behind, not someone who exclaims , your mother is a whore" to the referee in Spanish. The only curiosity I have about Pauno is did he rent or buy his house.

  • In reply to FutbolJunky:

    I actually find the "your mother is a whore" comment funny. The fact that he blew his stack that much to say that is where I find the (dark) humor.

    I'll take any levity I can get these days with this team.


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