Making predictions is hard. And it becomes even harder when the information you are working with is, well… noisy. In Nate Silver’s book, “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t,” he connects our ineptability to make accurate predictions (humans, not Fire fans) as an evolutionary problem identifying the truth from nonsense.
In a line that feels very Chicago Fire-y, Silver says, “Some stone-age strengths have become information-age weaknesses.” Let’s replace “stone-age,” with “MLS 1.0,” pause for a moment, and then move on.
It’s been a really noisy four weeks: An opening draw against a Columbus team that might be awful, a shrug-then-bunker opening day against half an RSL side, then a dizzying loss to Atlanta that gave us about eight minutes of actual soccer to work with. Bad soccer.
Fabian Johnson challenged by Oribe Peralta during USMNT vs Mexico match Saturday (via BostonHerald.com)
After the U.S. did not make the Gold Cup final earlier this year, it was clear that Jurgen Klinsman had been given a longer leash than previous National Team coaches like Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena. Now, after the US loss to Mexico on Saturday night and their match against Costa Rica tonight, we ask the OTF Staff: What changes (if any) need to be made to improve the United States Men’s National Team?
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson pulled a rabbit out if his hat several times last Sunday to keep the Fire competitive in a match in which the Philadelphia Union easily could have buried them. The teams traded goals and leads back and forth, but the affair was not settled until Kennedy Igboananike drove him his second goal of the match deep into second-half stoppage time to salvage a 3:3 draw.
Cheap is a loaded word.
Let’s re-phrase the headline: Do the Chicago Fire spend less than other teams? That’s an easy answer. The answer is “no.” Based on this Forbes article that outlines MLS Spending Habits, they actually spend a whole bunch more than most MLS Franchises. End of story… right?
In case you haven’t successfully sifted through U.S. Open Cup game date information (info which Major League Soccer has little incentive to promote), the Chicago Fire are meeting fellow cellar dwelling Philadelphia Union in a semi-final match tomorrow, Wednesday 8/12. The two teams also meet again, in The Bum Fight Double, for an MLS league match this weekend.
Friendly Banter Friday
Let me start out by thanking the MLS scheduling “computer” for assigning such wonderful start times for our regional rivalry with the Columbus Crew! A 7pm start on a Friday on Memorial Weekend is sure to fill the Crew’s stadium. The Crew returns on a Wednesday night in mid-July and the Fire returns to Columbus on the following Sunday evening. Such wonderful start times for traveling fans of both clubs.
Recent “Derby” talk in the lead up to the NY Red Bulls and NYC FC game got me wondering about the match up between the Fire and the Crew. Columbus is our closest rival, but it seems like MLS HQ does not think it’s worthy of publicizing. Then again, there’s a positive out of that, MLS won’t latch on to our fans and reimage them into fans of a team which only exists on paper:
Ten years ago last week, news broke that the first President and General Manager of the Chicago Fire was leaving the club. Despite Peter Wilt’s departure from Major League Soccer, his influence in the North American game remains.
In an age of “Circle the Wagon” franchise mentality, Wilt is a champion of fan culture, corporate accessibility, and organizational transparency. Among other accomplishments, Wilt has plied his trade as CEO of the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars, established the Milwaukee Wave soccer club, and is currently President of NASL’s Indy Eleven.
Some of OTF’s favorite soccer personalities were kind enough to answer the prompt:
“What are your reflections on Peter Wilt ten years after he left the MLS?”