10-man Fire blank Vancouver

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10-man Fire blank Vancouver

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Midfielder Pavel Pardo scored on an early free kick and Chicago snapped a 221-minute scoreless streak on the way to a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on Saturday.The Fire (9-6-4, 31 points) prevailed despite playing a man short for the final 21 minutes after defender Arne Friedrich was ejected with a second yellow card.The Whitecaps (8-6-6, 30 points) suffered their second straight loss and third in a five-game road swing.Chicago was awarded a free kick in the ninth minute when Whitecaps midfielder Jun Marques Davidson tripped Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko on a run outside the box.Pardo then lined a 23-yard kick into the right corner for his first goal of the season in the ninth minute.An apparent second-half goal - a rebound shot by Dominic Oduru in front of the net in the 54th minute - was ruled offside.Friedrich was ejected in the 69th minute and was given his second yellow card in two minutes after apparently tripping Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks.Chicago goalie Sean Johnson had four saves, including one on a shot by Lee Young-Pyo that would have tied the game.Chicago had back-to-back scoreless games and had not scored since June 29 on Marco Pappa's tally in the 58th minute of a 1-0 triumph at Sporting Kansas City.

Chris Coghlan understands his role with Cubs is different this time around

Chris Coghlan understands his role with Cubs is different this time around

At one point in the middle of last season, the Cubs were on a 12-game winning streak with Chris Coghlan hitting third in the lineup...while playing second base.

It's hard to see that scenario playing out again in 2016 for a lot of reasons.

After getting traded back to Chicago earlier this month, the 31-year-old outfielder came to a different Cubs team than the one he played a major contributing role with in 2015.

Coghlan was penciled in at fifth in Friday's Cubs lineup and has generally been playing against right-handed pitchers since he was acquired, akin to his role last season.

But what about when Jorge Soler returns? And when Dexter Fowler gets off the disabled list, the Cubs will still want to find time for Albert Almora Jr. and Matt Szczur and have $184 million man Jason Heyward patrolling right field.

Plus, Kris Bryant has played a lot of corner outfield already this season and his presence out there allows Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella (who is also currently on the DL) to man third base.

Simply put: Coghlan will be hard-pressed to reach 500 plate appearances again this season.

"I think my role is different. I've accepted that," Coghlan said. "Last year, I felt like if it was a righty, I'd start every day and do the platoon thing. Here, there's just so much talent and different roles that I don't think mine's maybe as definitive as last year's was. 

"I would probably say I'm even more accepting of that. 'Cause I feel to go from where I went and then to come here and get another opportunity. When you're on a team that plans on winning the World Series vs. a team that hopes you go to the playoffs, it's two totally different things.

"To get back on that and be around it, you're like, 'Man, I have a chance legitimately to win a World Series. I'll do whatever I can to win a World Series.' And that's kinda the attitude that I have. 

"I think it's different for people if you're not trying to win a World Series and you're not one of those teams, then you probably want a bigger role. But when you have a legitimate shot, there's a reason why there's only 25 that are allowed and there are only certain roles. I'm excited for this opportunity, however big or small it may be."

Coghlan only got 12 plate appearances in the postseason with the Cubs last year, collecting a lone single in the process.

It's understandable the former National League Rookie of the Year (2009) would want to play more after overcoming a lot of adversity in his career with injuries and posting a .793 OPS with 25 homers in 273 games with the Cubs from 2014-15.

But he also got his first taste of the playoffs last year and just moved from a last-place Oakland A's team to a squad that has a World Series or bust mentality.

Coghlan sees a different Cubs team than the one that got hot in the final two months of 2015 and wound up winning 97 games and two playoff series.

"When I came over here, I just realized, man, you've seen guys have more time," Coghlan said. "You see some growth and you see so much depth that you just feel like it's a matter of — this isn't an arrogant comment — playing within ourselves. 

"When you're on that level of talent and then you have everybody as close as they are, you feel like you're only competing for one thing and that's to win the World Series.

"...To watch it and to be a part of it, you're just like, 'Man, if we stay within ourselves and execute and stay healthy, we're gonna be fine.' And I think that's kinda more the attitude vs. maybe last year, it wasn't until the end where we kinda found our identity and our belief.

"Early on [last season], it was like, 'Man, we're fighting mano y mano and we need to have something break through.' Now, I think it's just about us executing. We execute and we got a shot to beat anybody in baseball."

NBA Free Agency: Where will Joakim Noah end up playing in 2016?

NBA Free Agency: Where will Joakim Noah end up playing in 2016?

Despite appearing in just 29 games and registering the worst statistical season of his eight-year NBA career in 2015-16, Bulls center Joakim Noah will be in high free agent demand this summer.

According to Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News, the Washington Wizards are prepared to offer Noah a maximum contract, which would start at $28 million and reach an estimated $120 million across four seasons.

Noah, who is expected to move on from the Bulls, is also being pursued by the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Knicks interest in the two-time All-Star and 2014 Defensive Player of the Year is a no-brainer with Derrick Rose now in New York and Noah having spent his teenage years in the Big Apple, starring for Brooklyn's Poly Prep. 

Noah, the ninth overall pick of the Bulls in 2007, is coming off shoulder surgery that cut his season short last January.

The 31-year-old Noah has averaged 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 572 games across eight seasons with the Bulls.

Injury Report: Chicago baseball keeping the disabled list active

Injury Report: Chicago baseball keeping the disabled list active

Each week, CSNChicago.com takes a look at the injury report from both the Cubs and White Sox, presented by Service King.

WHITE SOX

The White Sox placed Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list with ulnar neuritis in his right elbow. Manager Robin Ventura said it is not the same injury the pitcher had been dealing with for the past few weeks.
 
Justin Morneau remains on the disabled list as he recovers from left elbow primary flexor surgery. The new White Sox first baseman could begin his minor rehab assignment in July and possibly return after the All-Star break.
 
Austin Jackson is still recovering from a torn meniscus. The outfielder underwent successful surgery last Wednesday.

CUBS

The banged-up Cubs continue to have to fight through adveristy, putting Dexter Fowler on the disabled list this week with a hamstring injury.

It is the third hamstring issue this month for the Cubs, as Fowler joins Tommy La Stella and Jorge Soler on the shelf. Fowler has been a vital cog to the Cubs' offense as a leadoff with a .398 on-base percentage. 

La Stella is said to be due back before Soler and the left-handed hitting infielder could go on a rehab stint as soon as next week, meaning he should be back and able to make an impact before the All-Star Break. La Stella has posted an .871 OPS this season in 90 plate appearances.

The Cubs are still taking things slow with Soler, playing the conservative approach wtih the oft-injured young outfielder. He currently has no timetable to return.

The Cubs also placed Clayton Richard on the disabled list, but the team won't likely miss his 7.30 ERA or 2.189 WHIP.

The Cubs signed veteran pitcher Joe Nathan to help provide some potential relief down the line as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. The 41-year-old made his first appearance Thursday with Double-A Tennessee, striking out two batters in a perfect inning while tossing 17 pitches.