Chris Mueller’s time in Scotland has come to an abrupt end as it was announced on Thursday that he has signed with Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire on a free transfer from Hibernian.
The 25-year-old has signed a deal with the team through the 2025 season with an option for 2026. The move sees him return to his home state as he was born and raised in Schaumburg, Illinois.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Chris back to his hometown,” said Chicago Fire’s Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “Chris is a player who we are very familiar with and his addition, along with the recent arrival of Jairo Torres, will immediately provide more quality and attacking options to the squad.”
Following his college soccer career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mueller was picked sixth overall by Orlando City in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He would go on to make 126 appearances for the Lions and bag 26 goals and 20 assists in four seasons.
In January 2022, the winger would head across the Atlantic Ocean to join Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership. However, he would find it hard to crack the starting eleven on a regular basis as he only made seven out of 15 appearances for the team. He scored a single goal in their 3-1 Scottish Cup win over Arbroath.
Hibernian’s Chief Executive Ben Kensell spoke highly of Mueller, but in the end, felt the move back to the U.S. was right for both parties.
“Unfortunately this move didn’t work out the way the Club or Chris wanted,” Kensell said in a statement on Hibs’ website. “Chris has worked extremely hard in training since he arrived but has found it difficult to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Scottish Premiership, which has severely limited his game time.
“Ultimately, he wants to play football regularly and when the opportunity came about for him to play for his hometown side, it was something he didn’t want to turn down and we were happy to work with all parties to make this happen.
“For us, it was vital that this deal made complete sense for the Club and alongside this, it has also freed up a significant amount financially that the incoming manager will be able to use to mold the squad in their way.”
Mueller could see his first action for Chicago this weekend when they face Atlanta United.