Note: This interview took place one day before MLS’s decision to suspend play for 30 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Up until last week, Gastón Giménez had played his entire career in his native Argentina. Most recently, he starred in central midfield for Vélez Sársfield, a club that just finished third in the Superliga Argentina, behind only Superliga powerhouses Boca Juniors and River Plate.
But, Giménez said when he learned about the Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer, he knew it was finally time for a move abroad.
“I liked the idea that the club is very organized,” Giménez said via a translator. “The club is growing. The league is growing. I really liked all of those factors, and I’m happy to be here.”
Giménez had a frantic week before last Saturday’s match in New England. He played his final match at Vélez on Wednesday, flew to Chicago on Thursday, trained briefly with his new teammates in Bridgeview on Friday before flying to Boston, and played around 30 minutes as a substitute against the Revolution last Saturday.
A few minutes after coming on, Giménez sent a long pass to Djordje Mihailović, who was able to cross the ball onto Jonathan Bornstein’s head for the equalizing goal.
“It felt good. I was really happy,” Giménez said. “It felt a little strange to be on a synthetic surface, because I’m not used to it, but it felt really good to get out there and help the team.”
Giménez said Fire fans can expect a lot more from him once the MLS season gets back underway,
“I play with order, with a little bit of vision, I like order. I like organizing things. I try to help with tactical things as well, so we can get out there and be organized,” he said.
During the MLS league hiatus, he’ll get a chance to learn more about his new teammates. His fellow Chicago designated player Ignacio Aliseda also just joined the club from a quality Superliga Argentina side—sixth place Defensa y Justicia—but Giménez said the two didn’t really know each other before coming to the Fire.
He’ll also get to explore more of his new city. But, even in the brief time he’s been here, it’s clear Chicago’s already made a big impression on him.
“I love it! I love it!” Giménez said, smiling. “I walked around, and I went around in a car, and I love the city. It’s beautiful.”