Friedrich makes Fire debut in Friendly vs. Louisville

Fire defender registered 88 minutes in Sunday's Friendly
Arne Friedrich played in 82 matches for Germany’s national team. Despite his star-studded career in Europe, his debut with the Fire on Saturday came against a bunch of college kids.
 
Not surprisingly, Friedrich’s superior skill was clearly evident as he lasted 88 minutes in a 1-0 victory over the University of Louisville, a squad that included Fire first-round draft pick Austin Berry on its roster last season. On Saturday Berry played beside Friedrich in the middle of the Fire’s back line.
 
Though Fire coach Frank Klopas used 21 players, this match -- designed to keep the team fit during a bye week -- was all about Friedrich. He didn’t play in the Fire’s first three Major League Soccer matches because his fitness wasn’t up to snuff. He’s expected to be ready for Sunday’s home game against the Houston Dynamo, however.
 
"This is my target,’" said Friedrich. "(Saturday) was my first game after six months. I’m about 70 percent, but to be 100 percent I need some games.’"
 
Not only did Friedrich, 32, play his first game for the Fire, it was also his first game of any kind in the United States.
 
"I played against the United States when I was with our national team," he said. "And I saw only two MLS games because in Germany it was hard to get it (on television)."

 
Friedrich feels he needs to improve his fitness and get to know his teammates better on the field, but otherwise his adjustment to a new city hasn’t been difficult.
 

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