Skip to content

Schweinsteiger: Difference between MLS and European football is 'huge'

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bastian Schweinsteiger is settling into life - and football - in the United States and while Major League Soccer has been unforgiving to the Chicago Fire, the former Bayern Munich and Manchester United man says it's not quite as tough as European leagues.

Such is his assessment after featuring in six matches with Chicago, where he has recorded a pair of goals and an assist en route to a pair of wins, draws, and losses. For Schweinsteiger, the difficulty level isn't the big difference - rather, it's the football itself.

"We all know that this league is just not like the Premier League or the Bundesliga," he told Suddeutsche Zeitung, as quoted by ESPN FC.

"And, of course, it can be frustrating on the pitch at times when things discussed are not implemented or when somebody loses a ball or just does not have an eye for the teammate.

"I don't blame anyone for it, that's my problem - I need to adapt to the league and cope with those situations."

He added: "If you compare it to Bayern Munich or the (German) national team, the difference is huge. But I knew what I let myself in for."

Schweinsteiger's influence in the Chicago Fire midfield was noticed right away as he began delivering set pieces and second assists, picking out through passes and helping give dimension to the team's attack. It was a point sorely missed in Veljko Paunovic's side last season as Chicago finished last for a second straight year.

In truth, results with the former Germany man haven't told the full story - for example, a 2-0 lead over the LA Galaxy was squandered last weekend and a 2-2 draw was all the Fire took out of the match.

"The league is interesting because it's evident everyone can beat everyone," Schweinsteiger said. "And sometimes things happen you just don't understand. This might be referee decisions or the running paths or passes of a teammate. It's different than in Europe, but you have to take things as they are.

"Not everything is seen that happens on the pitch - the teammate in a good position, where it might get dangerous, how a situation develops. Too many balls are lost as well. But that's normal.

"If this were not the case, the people would not play in the United States but rather in the Bundesliga, Premier League, or La Liga. Still, MLS has potential, a lot of potential."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox