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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

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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.

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SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball
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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Better yet, donate to the campaign here.

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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

The Charity Ball Supporter Scarf

By | News, Products, Soccer Culture

We recently released our latest Charity Ball product, the super-cool CB Supporter Scarf.

Back in April, some of the guys at Team Charity Ball thought we should design a custom soccer scarf to give people another way to support the cause. We wanted the look to be simple, clean, and still feel like a scarf you would wear or rep at a professional soccer game.  The Charity Ball colors, red, white and black, were a non-negotiable for the first round.

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The limited edition scarves are made out of 100% acrylic and are high-definition jacquard knit.

At a $25 price point, it’s the perfect compliment to your Charity Ball event, fundraiser or more beautiful lifestyle.

Stop by our online shop and order yours today.

– Jaden King

The Nike Magista 2

By | Products

Two years ago during the 2014 World Cup, Nike introduced a new pair of cleats that would replace the CTR360 boots; The Magista. Today a new iteration of Magista has arrived.

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Benefits

Nike spent the last two years researching and remodeling the Magista. They added a new material (3D Textured Touch) in areas of high use of the foot to enhance your touch on the ball which is represented by the new Heat Map color-way. Nike has also put four additional studs on the sole, called the Rotational Zone, which is ideal for quick turns during the game. The Flyknit upper has been changed as well to create areas of increased breathability. Nike has added the Flyknit upper to the Magista Orden, just like the Mercurial Veloce. Also, the cleat itself is 30% lighter allowing the player to move quicker with the ball.

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At the start of the Euro 16, the Mercurial Superfly IV and a new skin for the Hypervenom was released. The Magista was not invited to the party because Nike wanted to make its debut during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Prices

Magista Obra: $300, Magista Opus: $230, Magista Orden: $170, Magista Onda: $75, Magista Proximo: $175 (indoor with Flyknit upper), Magista Finale: $100 (indoor)

Check em out here

– Jaden King

The 2016/17 Nike Ordem 4 Match Ball

By | Uncategorized

With the 16/17 European season just around the corner, it’s fitting that we give a quick precursory nod to the new Ordem 4 Match Ball. Nike’s newest installment is the official match ball for La Liga, Serie A and the Premier League. The 4 comes inked with juicy 3-D flow motion colors, a new state-of-the-art bladder system, fuse-weld panels and aero trac grooves.

 NikeOrdem4

The entire soccer ball is overlaid with Nike’s black iconic flicker cage. The cage often gets mixed reviews. At first glance, some might wonder, why did Nike intentionally put (what looks like) ugly black electrical tape over a wicked-cool ball.  As we’ve learned, there’s always a method to Nike’s madness. The guys at Nike Lab wanted to keep pushing the limit on design to help players judge flight movement. The genius behind the cage is that when the ball moves in the air, it creates a contrasting flicker – allowing the player to track the ball and respond with a higher degree of accuracy. Whether you like the look of the cage or not, there is no denying that it’s function is pretty smooth.

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Huge props to Nike for their ongoing efforts to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete.
The Nike Ordem 4 is available at nike.com and selected retailers.

 

Xtreme Consulting Partners with Charity Ball

By | Fundraisers, Get Involved

We’d like to thank Xtreme Consulting Group for launching the first Charity Ball online fundraiser with our new campaign interface. Xtreme is using their company event to invite employees, family and friends to join them in making a difference in kids’ lives. Each dollar donated at their event or online will be matched by Xtreme. Check it out here.

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Interested in having your company, group or team start a Charity Ball online fundraiser? Contact us to get started or register your own campaign here.

Thanks for helping us make the world more beautiful!

-Team Charity Ball

Bounce Athletics: Dynamo Goal

By | Products

As many of you already know, I play club soccer for Midwest United out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Midwest is a great club with some amazing coaches. I’m honored to be a part of such a program.

Often times during our training sessions we’ll use a set of cones to form a small goal for small-sided games or 2v2’s. However, this past week, a new type of goal was introduced. This wasn’t just your standard 3×3 off-brand, PVC, goal. It was strong and sturdy like a full-sized goal, but it was also able to fold flat and be easily carried. Intrigued by this product, I took a closer look and noticed two “Bounce Athletics” logos on the crossbar. For those who don’t know, Zach and the guys at Bounce are awesome and one of our partners at Charity Ball.

Sure enough, when I got home and visited their site, the Dynamo Goal was there. I have to say that this goal is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen as far as size, stability, and practicality goes.

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Thumbs up to Bounce on a sweet invention! For more information and to get a better look, check out the Dynamo Goal here.

—E