CSN to air at least 10 Fire games for 2011 season

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CSN to air at least 10 Fire games for 2011 season

Thursday, March 10, 2011Posted: 1:00 p.m.

CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Fire announced on Thursday that Comcast SportsNet will return as an official broadcast partner of the Fire for the 2011 season. CSN will broadcast a minimum of 10 games, with six games still to be decided. An additional 8 games will be broadcast by WPWR My50 Chicago.

Comcast SportsNet and WPWR My50 Chicago have been tremendous broadcast partners for the Fire and we are happy to return to their airwaves for another season, said Fire President Julian Posada. CSN and My50 provide extensive coverage to the Fires MLS schedule and are an integral part in the growth and promotion of our club throughout the Chicagoland area.

CSN will kick off it's coverage of the Chicago fire season on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. when the Fire take on MLS Cup runners-up FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas.

In addition, CSNChicago.com will provide around-the-clock Fire coverage, including game video and highlights.

Were very pleased to bring back Chicago Fire soccer action to our viewers this season, said Greg Bowman, Vice President of Programming for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. With every game being presented in HD, along with numerous games being followed by a post-game show, Fire fans will have plenty to look forward to this MLS season starting March 19th.

Date
Opponent
Time (CT)
TV
319Dallas
7:30CSN
326Kansas City
3:00MY50TELEFUTURA49Seattle3:00CSN
414Portland10:00ESPN2417LA Galaxy
3:00TELEFUTURA423Houston7:30CSN430Colorado8:00MY5057Vancouver7:30CSN514Toronto
6:00CSNTSN2(CANADA)521Philadelphia7:00GALAVISION
528San Jose
7:30CSN64Seattle7:30CSN69Kansas City
9:00ESPN2612Columbus3:00MY50618New England
6:30CSN622Real Salt Lake
7:30MY50626New York
1:00ESPN72Chivas9:00GALAVISION79LA Galaxy
9:30FSC716Portland7:30CSN83Philadelphia8:00MY5087Vancouver6:00GALAVISION813New York
6:30MY50818DC8:00ESPN2821Toronto6:00CSN827Colorado7:30MY50910San Jose
9:30TBA917Chivas3:00TBATELEFUTURA925New England
3:00MY50928Real Salt Lake
8:00TBA101Houston3:00TELEFUTURA1012Dallas7:30TBA1015DC6:30TBA1022Columbus7:30TBA

Notes from the rewatch: A deeper look at David Accam's big game

Notes from the rewatch: A deeper look at David Accam's big game

It's not often that teams win games in MLS by four goals, especially when a red card wasn't involved.

After the Chicago Fire couldn't score one goal against Orlando when the Lions went down to nine men for more than a quarter of the match earlier this month, the Fire put up a four spot against Orlando at Toyota Park on Saturday. The Fire were dominant in every aspect of the game.

David Accam had one of his best games for the Fire and the team had arguably its best performance of the season.

It takes two for a blowout in MLS

There have been 10 games in MLS this season decided by four goals or more. Out of that group, two of those involved red cards (including the Fire's 4-0 loss at Atlanta in March) and two of those were Minnesota's first two games as an MLS team when it was thought they could be the worst team in league history. Blowouts happen in MLS, but the relatively balanced play in the league means both the winning team had to be very good and the losing team had to be very bad.

The Fire may have had its best performance of the season. Nemanja Nikolic said the team was near perfect after the match (in the video above).

Meanwhile, Orlando was without its leading scorer (Cyle Larin) and was coming off a game Wednesday halfway across the country in Seattle. Those factors, plus an overall lethargic showing from Orlando (coach Jason Kreis said his team "didn't have enough energy" at the start of the match) made the Lions susceptible to the beatdown they received.

The expected goals didn't lie

Soccer analytics are still nascent, but expected goals is one of the stats getting more attention. Expected goals (click here for the longer, better explanation) track the position of all shots taken in a match and quantify the likelihood of that shot going in. Shots from close are more likely to score so they are worth more expected goals. Each shot's percentage of scoring is added to produce the team's expected goals total.

Often in blowouts, the winning team's expected goals total is lower than the actual goal total because in order to score a large number of goals it probably took a couple low-percentage shots scoring. Teams don't typically create several high-percentage scoring chances in a match. It takes a screamer from distance or a goalkeeper flub to get a high goal total, and the expected goal total won't go up with that as a result.

However, the Fire's expected goal total from Saturday was actually above four. Including the penalty kick, the Fire's expected goal total finished at 4.26, one of the highest totals in the league this year. Meanwhile, Orlando had a miniscule .16 from three long-distance shots.

The Fire scored two goals early and kept creating chances. Nikolic was denied on a close-range volley in the first half and missed an open shot in the second half or else he could have scored more than the one goal.

Without going deeper into the stats, the takeaway is that this game was a blowout, was always going to be a blowout and didn't require particularly efficient finishing from the Fire to be a blowout.

Accam: "I thought I could do anything on the pitch"

Accam's hat trick got the headlines, but he also had an assist on Nikolic's goal. On the assist he showed something he hasn't done often. Look where Accam received the ball on that play:

This is Accam as a playmaking attacking midfielder for one play. He received the ball just past midfield off a turnover, but it wasn’t a classic counter. Orlando had five players behind the ball and he had two Fire players, Nikolic and Luis Solignac, in front of him. He turned, put a move on Antonio Nocerino to give himself the space to set up Nikolic, made the pass and Nikolic finished with his first touch.

Accam's first goal was about positioning. He found a way to get open in the six-yard box, and the backheel was just the exclamation mark to finish the play. His second goal was classic Accam getting behind a defense and being almost too patient to shoot before scoring into an open net.

He showed a little bit of everything Saturday.

Michael de Leeuw tracking Kaka

Just watch Michael de Leeuw, a natural forward, recognize Kaka running into open space and then cut him off and intercept a pass intended for the Brazilian.

Aaron Judge's batting practice homer flies ridiculously far

Aaron Judge's batting practice homer flies ridiculously far

Aaron Judge's batting practice is quickly becoming must-watch stuff.

The 25-year-old outfielder proved that point on Monday, when he absolutely destroyed a baseball onto the Guaranteed Rate Field concourse. 

Just to recap: That ball flew the bleachers and literally one hopped the jumbotron. And while the jury has already ruled that Judge has ridiculous power, this is next-level skill. 

Judge, who's already blasted 26 dingers this season, and the Yankees are in town this week for four games on the South Side. Let's hope he doesn't actually do that when it counts.