Chris Mueller opens up on 'difficult' Hibs spell after Chicago Fire move and reveals what positives he took

Chris Mueller has admitted that a lack of gametime at Hibs contributed to his decision to seek a return to Major League Soccer earlier this month, ahead of signing for his hometown club Chicago Fire.

Monday, 16th May 2022, 2:11 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 2:22 pm

The 25-year-old attacker arrived in January after signing a pre-contract last summer but struggled to get to grips with the hurly-burly of the Scottish game.

He sealed a return to home state Illinois and made his debut for the Fire as a substitute in a 4-1 defeat by Atlanta United before starting in a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati.

Speaking last week to reports in the States, Mueller opened up about his experience in Scotland.

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"I wasn't playing as much, it was really hard for me. But nonetheless I think that I went there for a reason,” he said in a conference call.

"I learned a lot about the experience, in terms of being in another country, in another culture, and seeing how people from different parts of the world function in their day-to-day lives.

"I think that I tried to go into the whole thing with an open mind and tried to learn from the experience as it was, not even just on the football pitch, although I learned a ton about myself on the football pitch as a player."

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Mueller made 14 appearances in total, scoring once in the Scottish Cup victory over Arbroath at Gayfield. Pressed further on his time in Edinburgh, the twice-capped USMNT forward admitted that the form of the team didn’t help.

"It was more about the mental grind I was going through in terms of not getting the minutes that I wanted. The team wasn't doing particularly well either, we were losing a ton of games, and when you're over there in Scotland, football is number one for all the people.

“If you're not doing well on the football pitch, it's hard to have an outlet in any other way. It seems like all eyes are on you, and when things aren't going well, people let you know about it.

"It's a much higher-pressure situation and a different style of play. Much more direct, faster in terms of pressing and the commitment to defend.

"I could go on and on about the differences and things that I learned, but it was a positive experience."