Citizenship: German (U.S. Green Card Holder)
Last Club: VfL Wolfsburg (GER)
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent on March 7, 2012
A veteran of the German national team with 82 international appearances, Arne Friedrich commands a rock solid Fire defense that allowed just 41 goals in 2012. In his first season with the Fire, Friedrich played 23 games and netted one goal en route to the club’s 2012 Defender of the Year honors. The Men in Red will look to Friedrich’s international experience and veteran leadership to command the Fire backline throughout 2013.
2012: Made 23 appearances with 22 starts, netting one goal across 1832 minutes…Named the club’s Defender of the Year by local media …Started his first match in a Fire uniform in a 1-1 draw vs. HOU 4/15…Scored his first MLS goal in the Fire’s 3-1 win at PHI 8/12…MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Started and played all 90 minutes in the Fire’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Playoffs knockout match on 10/31…INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES: Started and played 68 minutes in the Fire’s 0-1 loss to Aston Villa on 7/21.
Abroad: Friedrich began his professional career with German Regionalliga side SC Verl, where he appeared in 31 matches from 1999-2000 before transferring to 2 Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefield the following season. Friedrich helped Die Blauen’s promotion push to the Bundesliga during the first part of the 2001-02 season before transferring to Hertha Berlin that January. It was in the German capital where Friedrich made his biggest mark, going on to tally 231 league appearances and 14 goals from 2002-10. Prior to the 2002-03 Bundesliga campaign, Friedrich helped the club to the preseason DFB Ligapokal. During the 2004-05 campaign, he was named club captain, a role he held throughout the remainder of his tenure with Die Alte Dame. Following Hertha’s relegation after the 2009-10 campaign, Friedrich transferred to VfL Wolfsburg where he appeared in 15 matches from 2010-11.
International: Friedrich has represented the German national team 82 times since his first appearance in 2002. During that time, Friedrich has compiled an impressive international resume, playing 13 of a possible 14 games while helping Die Mannschaft to matching third place finishes at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. It was in the latter tournament that he scored, tallying in the 74th minute of Germany’s 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Argentina July 3, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. The stout defender also represented Germany at the 2004 and 2008 UEFA European championships. In 2008, Friedrich appeared in four matches, helping his country to a runner-up finish. Capable of playing centrally or on the right side of the backline, Friedrich helped his national side to a third-place finish at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany.
Personal: Son of Hans-Joachim Friedrich and Christel Fritz…lists Pop and R&B as his choice music genres…favorite Chicago restaurant is Vapianos…fan of all Chicago sports teams…favorite TV show is 24…threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field June 26, 2012.