A decorated German Ace has been rumored to make a move to MLS for the past few months. Yesterday, a German World Cup veteran signed with the Fire, although it was not the name most MLS fans had been expecting to hear.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago Fire announced the signing of German defender Arne Friedrich, a talented veteran who has represented his country 82 times since his first cap in 2002. Friedrich will be join the Men in Red upon the receipt of his P1 Visa and transfer certificate.
“I’m excited to take the next step in my career with the Chicago Fire,” said Friedrich in an official Chicago Fire Press Release.
He added: “After playing my entire professional career in Germany, coming to the United States was an intriguing prospect and I’m looking forward to joining the club and playing in Major League Soccer.”
Prior to joining the Fire, Friedrich had dressed for VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin, both of the German Bundesliga, appearing in only 15 matches since 2010 due to injuries.
“Arne is a talented defender that brings strength, experience and depth to our backline,” said Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas in a statement on the official Fire website.
The boss added: “His international credentials and track record in the German Bundesliga give our young players another great professional example to learn from.”
This acquisition now means Klopas will have to rearrange his backline, with a young player such as Jalil Anibaba possibly being the odd-man out. He will only have nine days to work out his roster, with the Fire opening up their 2012 season in Montreal against the Impact on the 17th.