The Chicago Fire will once again participate in the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup in February, the team said in a statement Tuesday.
Hosted by the United Soccer Leagues Charleston Battery, the competition is a four-team round-robin tournament that will feature the Battery, the Fire and two MLS sides to be named later.
The Fire have twice participated in the Carolina Challenge Cup, now in its 10th year, having competed in both the 2011 and 2012 editions of the tournament. In 2011, the team finished third with a 1-1-1 record -- the loss coming to eventual winners DC United. In 2012, the team was second behind DC United before severe thunderstorms cancelled the remaining games.
The Men in Red will report to Toyota Park for preseason training on Jan. 18 before eventually heading to Charlestown, S.C., for the tournament to be held at Blackbaud Stadium from Feb. 16 to 23. The fixture dates are scheduled for Feb. 16, 20 and 23.
The Charlestown Battery were recently crowned the 2012 USL Pro champions in September.
CSN Chicago has expanded their regional broadcasting plans for the 2017 Chicago Fire season.
The expansion includes 29 MLS fixtures, 36 episodes of Fire Weekly, and four behind-the-scenes episodes of Fire All-Access.
"Throughout our 20th season, CSN Chicago will be providing viewers unprecedented coverage of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club," said Fire COO Atul Khosla. "We’re thrilled to be able to team with CSN Chicago to share more than 100 hours of live, original content to fans throughout the region."
"We are proud to be the regional television home for the Fire and fans can count on us once again to deliver expert game coverage, pre-game shows for every telecast, and expanded offerings of Fire-related programming throughout the 2017 MLS campaign," added Phil Bedella, VP/GM of CSN Chicago.
Fire Weekly, presented by The PrivateBank, will debut on Wednesday, March 1 at 10 p.m. on CSN+. It will be also be available via live stream on CSNChicago.com.
Fire All-Access will premiere on Wednesday, March 8 at 9:30 p.m. on CSN and streamed at CSNChicago.com.
Click here to see CSN's Broadcast Schedule.
A new Chicago Fire season is near, which means it's a good time to start a new podcast.
Shane Murray, a Fire contributor for MLSSoccer.com, joined me for our new endeavor: the Fire Talk Podcast.
This first episode focused on the key departures and new additions to the Fire this season and served as a look ahead to the 2017 season. We looked at the additions made to the team, how the team may line up to start the season and what improvements still need to be made.
Also, the Fire are 5-0 in the preseason, but do preseason results matter?
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: