By Colin Wright
The Chicago Fire have had a busy past couple of days. Hours after a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew on Thursday night, the team departed from O’Hare bound for Munich for an August 28 tribute match against European giants Bayern Munich in honor of current Fire and former Bayern and German National Team defender Bastian Schweinsteiger. This Bavarian defender is starting to become a fixture among all of the Men in Red’s supporters. However, Bastian is already a legend back in his native home.
Growing up on the outskirts of Munich, playing for Die Roten was a dream for a young Schweinsteiger. Now, after twenty years, eight Bundesliga titles, and a pair of a Champions League and a World Cup title, Schweinsteiger is ready to say goodbye to the organization that paved the way for his legendary career.
On Monday, August 27, Bastian was both inducted into the Bayern Munich Hall of Fame and given the Bavarian Order of Merit from Prime Minister Markus Soder.
While this match is a friendly, head coach Veljko Paunovic is still preparing his team to fight, play hard, and squeak out a victory against the German Giants. “I’m really looking forward to walking back out at the Allianz Arena and hopefully meeting lots of fans who’ve been there since the start of my career, Schweinsteiger said.
However, similar to Coffee Black in the 2008 comedy Semi-Pro, Schweinsteiger will be playing a half of soccer for each team.
Kickoff for the match is slated for 1:30 CST on Tuesday, August 28 and is available to watch at no cost live from Munich at ServusBasti.com or on Facebook Live at Bastian’s page.