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Bastian Schweinsteiger: 'I knew what I let myself in for' by moving to MLS

Alejandro Moreno shares his thoughts on Bastian Schweinsteiger's transition from the Premier League to Major League Soccer.
Go behind-the-scenes with Chicago Fire's Bastian Schweinsteiger who recently threw out the first pitch for the Chicago Cubs.

Bastian Schweinsteiger says there is a "huge" difference in the quality between the Chicago Fire and his past experience at Bayern Munich, but that he "I knew what I let myself in for" when he chose to move to MLS.

Schweinsteiger, 32, joined the Fire from Manchester United in March, having only been on the fringes under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

And the 32-year-old said adapting to MLS is also proving frustrating at times, given it is not at the same level as the previous leagues he has played in.

"We all know that this league is just not like the Premier League or the Bundesliga," Schweinsteiger told Suddeutsche Zeitung.

"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."

Asked about the differences to his experience in European football, Schweinsteiger said: "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."

Bastian Schweinsteiger joined Chicago Fire from Manchester United in March.

Schweinsteiger also said that while MLS is "very strong" physically there are other things still lacking in the U.S. top flight.

"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."

The former Germany captain has since started in six matches and contributed two goals for his new club, who currently sit sixth in the MLS Eastern Conference, a modest improvement from recent years.

"Chicago Fire finished as the bottom club in the previous two seasons, and I did not expect that we'd win every match, and finish on top by a mile," Schweinsteiger said. "One player's influence in football is not as big as in other sports, it's 11 players vs. 11 players.

"And we didn't play all that bad until now and were pretty much on [the same] level in our losses to Toronto and New York Red Bulls. But we still have a lot of work to do."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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