Veteran Defender Friedrich Open to Fire Stay Past 2013

ARNE: "I would never say no to staying with the Chicago Fire.”

Arne Friedrich

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Chicago Fire fans received the first good news of the offseason Wednesday morning when the club agreed to terms with veteran defender Arne Friedrich to feature for the Men in Red in 2013.

The 33-year-old defender spoke about his love for the city of Chicago and happiness to finish his playing career in the Windy City next season.

Flash forward one day and the two-time German World Cup veteran is keeping options open to play even beyond next season.

“I’m satisfied to have extended my contract because I’ve had a great time so far in Chicago,” Friedrich told Chicago-Fire.com Thursday. “I don’t know what will happen after next season but I’m going to leave everything open. If we can work something out past 2013, I would never say no to staying with the Chicago Fire.”

In his first year in Chicago, Friedrich anchored the Fire backline in 23 games, scoring one goal en route to earning the team’s Defender of the Year award. The former German international also helped mentor first-year center back partner Austin Berry to what looks to be a Rookie of the Year campaign and aided in the club’s return to the postseason for the first time since 2009.

“I’m very proud of what I was able to accomplish with the team in my first year in MLS and I would like to win a championship here. I could imagine staying longer to help this team so everything is possible.”