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Bastian Schweinsteiger 'happy' about busy Chicago Fire match schedule

Four games in 13 days might seem hectic by MLS standards, but Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said he doesn't think so.

"For you maybe, but for me, actually, it's quite normal," Schweinsteiger told the (Chicago) Daily Herald. "In the beginning [of the season], when we were playing Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, I didn't know what to do on Tuesday. It was a little bit strange for me.

"I'm actually looking forward [to it]. I love to play games. I mean training sessions are always good, but I think every player loves to play games and matches, and that's why I'm actually happy about it."

The German star is in his first season in MLS after 16 years with European titans Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

The Fire plays the second of those four matches Wednesday when it hosts the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Park.

And the short time between games might have coach Veljko Paunovic searching his lineup for fresh legs.

"We have the depth for it," midfielder Dax McCarty told the paper. "We have a lot of guys on the bench now who are itching to get a couple of opportunities to play. I think we're a lot deeper than this team has been in the past."

The Rapids, who are last in the Western Conference, are hoping the resounding end to their five-game losing streak provides a spark.

Colorado rebounded from three-straight shutouts to rout the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday. It was the team's first win since their season opener March 4.

Rapids forward Dominique Badji had a goal and an assist against San Jose and was named Man of the Match.

"It started with good pressure up top, with me and Alan Gordon," Badji told Altitude Sports Radio. "We want to be more of an offensive threat. This is a good start for us."

Colorado will be looking for its first road points this season against a Chicago team that is 4-0-1 at home in 2017.

"Chicago is playing really well," Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni told the Denver Post. "They have a lot of great experience, not only in the starting 11 but in their depth as well. They're firing on all cylinders and have experienced backups. That helps in the form they're in."

In Saturday's win, winger Marlon Hairston moved to full-back in place of starter Mekeil Williams, who was serving a red-card suspension, and it might turn into a full-time gig.

"I think Marlon could be one of the best right-backs in this country," Mastroeni said. "Marlon doesn't necessarily want to hear that, he likes to be up top doing his thing. I think he's one of the best one-v-one defenders, he covers the back post incredibly well.

"I think he's going to bring something that we haven't had at this club in years. Him coming in from behind, the element of surprise, coupled with speed, presents a very deadly combination for our attack."

Chicago, which sits just above the red line in the Eastern Conference standings, will be in the nation's capital Saturday to take on D.C. United, while the Rapids will visit Philadelphia for a match with the Union on the weekend.

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