Fire DP midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger gave an interview to German media in which he talked about his first few weeks in Major League Soccer. If you’ve read interviews from the likes of, say, Didier Drogba or Steven Gerrard or Andrea Pirlo, you pretty much know what to expect. The drop-off in quality, the physicality, the tougher travel, adjusting to the culture. All hallmarks of an emerging genre in journalism and creative nonfiction.
Let’s jump straight into the quotes.
“We all know that this league is just not like the Premier League or the Bundesliga. And, of course, it can be frustrating on the pitch at times when things discussed [in the team meeting] 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."
This is probably the most ready source of hot takes— Schweinsteiger, apparently, taking a swipe at his teammates. Or was he just making an honest assessment of a team that has finished at or near the bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference three seasons running? I’m inclined to think it’s the latter, and that no malice was intended, but it’s definitely open to interpretation.
“If you compare it to Bayern Munich or the [Germany] national team, the difference is huge. But I knew what I let myself in for. The league is interesting because it's evident everyone can beat everyone. 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," Schweinsteiger said. "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.”
So, again, I don’t think there’s a whole lot here to get worked up about. Of course Schweini was going to need a period of adjustment. And of course there was going to be an interview like this. At least it happened early in his time here, and that it doesn’t come off that bad. Schweinsteiger is, ultimately, a consummate professional. He’s holding the Fire to high standards. We all should, because we’re Fire fans and we give a shit.
In any event, the reactions were somewhat all over the place.
Bastien Schweinsteiger already fed up with quality of the MLShttps://t.co/ORDo2c8ziP pic.twitter.com/P6JnZ0gZRz— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 9, 2017
Schweinsteiger is having a fun old passive-agressive time in the MSL: https://t.co/AWv2n4J4kL— Nadir Hassan (@Nadir_Hassan) May 9, 2017
This is the nicest way you can say that the quality around u is pathetic & the level is even worst than you thoughthttps://t.co/60q8kTB6fj— Kephern Fuller (@JOGASC) May 9, 2017
Issue is not w/Schweinsteiger quotes, but w/how they're being used to fit a narrative. Those turning it into indictment on #MLS have agenda.— Sebastian Salazar (@SebiSalazarFUT) May 9, 2017
Hahaha damn, Schweini just says "y'all garbage" in like 5 different ways https://t.co/y41jm3epGg— Kevin McCauley (@kevinmccauley) May 9, 2017
Anyway, what do you think of Basti’s interview? Let us know in comments!