Bastian Schweinsteiger re-signs with the Chicago Fire for a third season

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - JULY 21: Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger (31) dribbles with the ball against the Toronto FC on July 21, 2018 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Fans of the Chicago Fire will have one of their most popular players back for another year in Bridgeview.

On Wednesday the team announced that they’ve signed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger for the 2019 season, bringing him back to the Fire for a third season.

The legendary German player will continue as a “Designated Player” for the upcoming MLS campaign as he tries to help the Fire rebound after a disappointing 2018 season.

“Let’s raise a trophy. I believe in this Club and I believe that we can be champions,” said Schweinsteiger in a statement released by the club. “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.”

Arriving in 2017 with plenty of fan fair from Manchester United, the forward has seven goals in 12 assists in 55 games with the team. In his first season, he helped the team to their first playoff berth since 2012 in a what was a breakthrough season for the club.

Performance slipped for the Fire in 2018 as they finished on the outside of the postseason, finishing the season 8-18-8. In 31 games this past season, Schweinsteiger had four goals and six assists.

The Fire hope the 2019 campaign will pick up where they left off in 2017 instead of this past fall, and Schweinsteiger will remain a major piece to that goal.

“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 a statement through the team. “His return demonstrates our continuing effort to build a championship program, both on and off the field.”

One that Bastian appears ready to aid for a third season in Bridgeview.