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Monthly Archives

October 2016

How to Enjoy a 0-0 Game

By | Soccer Culture

Before I get too into this enthralling topic I would like to thank Manchester United Football Club and their enigmatic manager, Jose Mourinho, for the inspiration. With the source of this article clearly defined, I can say that it is very difficult to enjoy a game like the one we saw on Monday between Liverpool and Man U.

Personally, I was a Jose Mourinho fan when he was at Chelsea the first time, and a little bit less during his second spell. This is mainly because he is afraid of nobody, and is not afraid to speak his mind to the press, or poke fun at an opposing manager, *cough* Arsene Wenger *cough*. That being said, he seems to have turned up his trash talk now that he is Manchester and turned down his desire to play attacking football. At any previous club he has managed he was known for parking the bus on occasion, and it is typically effective at killing the game.

That is what made Monday such a sad game. Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have been one of the most dynamically scoring teams in the Premier League since his arrival, and with Man U assembling the most expensive team of stars IN THE LEAGUES HISTORY it was a mouthwatering match up. So when Jose parked the most expensive bus in England in front of their goal at Anfield you could feel the disappointment. The drab game finished 0-0 with the only highlights being a couple of David De Gea saves, and Mourinho was quoted after the game saying, “It was a good performance and the result is acceptable.”

With another big game coming up for United and Mourinho, at Chelsea on Sunday at 11am (EST), will there be a tactical change? Or will the irony of Mourinho parking the bus at Stamford Bridge take over? From the fans point of view, I sincerely hope the game is less defensive and more open.

So my advice for enjoying a 0-0 game is; you don’t. Take a nap like I did.

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

Club Profile: Olympique de Marseille

By | Soccer Culture

For some time Marseille has been known as the second biggest club in France with a great successful history and amazing fan base. Here is some other need to know’s about the L’OM.

Founded it 1899

Home Stadium: Stade Velodrome (since 1937 and it’s beautiful) holds 67,394 which is bigger than Arsenal’s homes stadium, The Emirates

marseille-stadium

Successes: Ten time French Champions, Ten Time Coupe De France Winners, One time UEFA Champions League winner (only French team to ever win it)

Notable Former Players: Steve Mandanda, Dmitri Payet, Andre Ayew, Didier Drogba, Michy Batshuayi (twitter legend), Frank Ribery, Samir Nasri, Cesar Azpilicueta

Why you should use them in FIFA 17? Pacey wingers, and some solid midfielders with a big striker means possibility for greatness but a poor defense and goalkeeper might hinder that. Better off using them for a challenging manager career mode

What else? They were recently purchased by American Frank McCourt, who used to be the LA Dodgers owner. Which means they might come to America for summers and there are big changes will be happening and hopefully Marseille will rise to challenge PSG in France. They are rumored to be bringing in Luis Campos for their new Sporting Director, who currently works at Manchester United as a scout, and previously worked at Monaco bringing in players like James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Anthony Martial to the club.

The future is finally looking up in Marseille so keep your eye on that club, give them a try on FIFA Manager Career Mode, they always have cool jerseys and check out their stadium, it’s dope.

mstad

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball
usmnt

USMNT vs Cuba Preview

By | Soccer Games

The USMNT travels to Cuba to play their hosts in a World Cup Qualifier later this afternoon. Kickoff is at 4pmET and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Here are three of the big talking points on some of the US camp.

  1. Can Pulisic cement his place in the starting XI? We all know who he is, and how good he can be. But can he consistently show that he can and should be a starter for the United States? I certainly think he can and will. His form has been incredible for both the USA and BVB so far this season, and I hope that continues tonight.
  2. Who will be in the net? While the USA has had solid goalkeepers in the past, neither Howard or Guzan are playing particularly well at the moment. Plus both of them are getting up there in the age category. Maybe tonight will allow a younger USA keeper to show his worth and a glimpse of the future? David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough are all with the squad and could play tonight. Personally I would love to see Horvath get the start since he has more than proved himself through the US Youth National Team ranks.
  3. Will John Brooks pick up where he left off? The hulking 23 year old center back was the star for the US at Copa America. He was a rock defensively and brought some much needed stability to the US back line. However since he has missed the last month to injury the defense has continued to play well. If all goes well Brooks should return to his old form and anchor the US defensive line for years to come.

Enjoy the game!

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

Fantasy Soccer Update, Player of the Week

By | Soccer Culture

There were some big match ups this weekend, whether we are talking about Tottenham v. Manchester City, or Jose Mourinho trying to stay in the top four with all the big names that Manchester United have bought this past transfer window. But, outside of those events, we saw Diego Costa absolutely kill it against Hull City. He finished the game with an assist and a goal, which is why I am choosing him as player of the week this week. In the 61st minute, Costa found himself getting a lucky bounce off a defender, then finding Willian, who had a brilliant finish past David Marshall.

Diego Costa, in the 67th minute, had a spectacular finish hitting the upper-ninety easily. Matic started the counter attack in Chelsea’s defending third. Hull City gave him plenty of space to continue dribbling up the field, all the way into their eighteen yard box. Matic found the easy pass to Costa who seamlessly finished, giving Chelsea the brace. Chelsea continue on to win the game 2-0 against Hull City.

Onto fantasy soccer, those who decided to purchase the $10.0 million probably ended up having a spectacular week. He scored 12 points this week, proving he is worth the money. Looking towards their next game, they will be playing Leicester City. This weekend is International Break, so their next game is not until the 15th of October. Leicester has a large center back who has seemed to handle Costa pretty easily in the past. Costa has been held scoreless in four straight games against Leicester. My word, I would not play Costa against Leicester, meaning you might need to find someone that can get a couple points.

mike_2402

By Mike Johns
Team Charity Ball

The Globe Pub, Chicago

By | Fundraisers

I’m thrilled to announce our newest campaign partner, The Globe Pub-the Best Sports Bar & Grill on the North Side of Chicago.

eatglobe

A couple of my friends from the Windy City told me about this authentic sports bar, where local futbol lovers gather each week to enjoy a few brewskies, have a good meal, and support their favorite team. Last February, on my way to Northwestern University, I stopped by and got to experience it firsthand.

It has to be, without doubt, the best local sports bar I’ve ever been to. Outside it looks like your typical grill, however when you walk through the door you quickly realize that this is something special. Every room is filled with televisions, all placed in strategic locations for you to watch the big game while enjoying the all popular Fish & Chips or Avocado BLT Wrap. The walls are plastered with vintage signed jerseys, classic supporters scarves, and other forms of unique soccer memorabilia. I guess I can’t say I’ve gotten the full experience of the pub considering I can’t drink yet, but I definitely know where I’m headed when I turn 21. 🙂

globepubsupportersscarves

This past summer, I gave Megan (one of the managers) a call to see if they would consider doing something with Charty Ball. She was all about it. She got me in touch with Patrick Stanton. What a guy! Patrick also manages The Globe and coaches soccer at FW Parker High School. He’s been great to talk to these past few weeks and I couldn’t think of a better guy to be leading this campaign for The Globe.

Patrick laid out an astonishing goal of raising $10,000 for Charity Ball. You can check out their campaign page and make a donation here.

It’s so cool when businesses use their resources to do something to help kids around the world. I’m really excited to have these guys in the mix!

If you’re ever in the Chicago area… be sure to stop by.

globemap

Better yet, donate to the campaign here.

globecampaign

0034ethanking2016

By Ethan King
Charity Ball Founder

Why Borussia Dortmund are the best team in Europe to watch right now

By | Soccer Games

Before their Champions League tie with Real Madrid on Tuesday this last weekend BVB were on a terrific run in their previous games. And when I say terrific, I mean a stretch of white hot form. In their four games previous to the Madrid game they outscored their opponents a combined 20-2 (Watch some goals here and here). Having watched multiple of those games myself I can attest they they were not just simple victories but complete, dominating team performances.

Now second year coach Thomas Tuchel has proven he can manage at the top of Europe and do so magnificently and with a team with one of the lowest average ages in the world. So many of Dortmund’s top performers are young talents with room to grow, especially the American phenom Christian Pulisic. He recently turned 18 and provided the key assist to Andre Schurrle for his 88th minute equalizer in the Madrid match (highlights here). Needless to say he and other wunderkids like Emre Mor, Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro and Julian Weigl are the real deal and show the future of the club is only on the rise.

So all of this to say that you NEED to watch them play on Saturday at 12:30 ET on FS2 and FoxSoccer2go against their rival Bayer Leverkusen. Watch for Dortmund’s incisive possession game and quick combination passes and Leverkusen’s blitz on the counter attack.

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball