Fire

Have the doubters been proven wrong about Bastian Schweinsteiger?

Have the doubters been proven wrong about Bastian Schweinsteiger?

When Bastian Schweinsteiger arrived with the Fire, there was some skepticism whether the 32-year-old had much left to give.

He hadn't played in any Premier League matches this season at Manchester United due to injuries and manager Jose Mourinho preferring other players ahead of him.

After two goals and an assist in three games with the Fire, in which the team has a 2-0-1 record, the early returns are positive for Schweinsteiger. So was the 'Schweinsteiger is done' narrative wrong?

Kurt Larson wrote on MLSsoccer.com saying as much:

"All of us – including myself – once again have proven our reactionary takes and inferiority complexes are sometimes blinding. We're too eager to latch onto whatever narrative people around the world are perpetuating, often times nonsensically. It's how North American media somehow turned a 32-year-old, World Cup-winner into a broken down, one-way midfielder with nothing left to give."

It's a bit early to be saying Schweinsteiger has proven the doubters wrong. He still has to endure a full season while staying relatively injury-free, but through three games he definitely has.

In the current era of MLS, these signings are starting to be given a skeptical eye, and maybe that's a good thing for the growth of the league. Similar reactions are popping up regarding the speculation of where Chelsea defender John Terry may end up.

Some aging famous players have not worked out in the past and some will likely not work in the future. That's part of professional sports and at least the skepticism shows MLS is becoming more about results on the field than attention off it.

Chicago Fire permanently sign midfielder Aleksandar Katai

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USA TODAY

Chicago Fire permanently sign midfielder Aleksandar Katai

The Fire have secured the transfer of midfielder Aleksandar Katai from Deportivo Alavés of the Spanish La Liga, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

This season’s breakout playmaker has been signed with Chicago through 2019, with a 2020 club option. Before the transfer, Katai was on loan from Alavés, which was set to expire after July.

The Serbian player has emerged as one of the most important pieces of the Fire’s offense this season. Since joining the club on Feb. 6, Katai has scored eight goals in 18 league matches, tying forward Nemanja Nikolić for the most on the team. Katai also has three assists in 2018.

The 27-year-old’s biggest game of the year came against New York City FC last month when he scored two goals to lead the Fire to 3-2 victory. His production this season in the MLS has been much more significant than it was in 23 matches with Alavés, where Katai only tallied three goals and four assists.

His transfer fee is unknown but, according to Sam Stejskal of MLSsoccer.com, he will be a “Targeted Allocation Money player” for the rest of this season and will not be a Designated Player until 2019. Whatever the official price was, acquiring Katai for a lengthier amount of time seemed like a must.

Throughout this season, the Fire were rumored to be in talks with legendary Spanish striker Fernando Torres. On Tuesday, he signed with Sagan Tosu, a Japanese club. The Fire signed Katai the next day, showing that the team was possibly waiting for Torres to leave the market.

Chicago will face the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night at Toyota Park, where Katai will look to continue his impressive season.

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof involved in car crash on Thursday morning

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USA TODAY

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof involved in car crash on Thursday morning

Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof was involved in a car accident on his way to practice Thursday morning that sent him to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to authorities and the Secretary of State’s Office, a box truck crashed into the Dutch player’s 2013 Volkswagen and another vehicle in the 5900 block of South Harlem. Kappelhof’s vehicle rolled over and two people fled from the scene.

The driver ran on foot and the passenger moved into the driver’s seat before driving the truck onto the Stevenson Expressway after the crash, officials said. After the damaged vehicle broke down, police say the same passenger tried to jump into the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Both were taken into custody.

Team officials said Kappelhof was treated and released from the hospital without indicators of a concussion. The 27-year-old was reportedly seen at Toyota Park after the crash and did not have any serious injuries. The other driver who was hit by the box truck was also treated, police said.

This season in league play with the Fire, Kappelhof has three assists in 16 games. The international product was a 2017 MLS All-Star and the Defensive Player of the Year for the Fire last season. He was signed in 2016 and has made one MLS Cup Playoffs appearance.