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.

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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.

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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

Nike Spark Brilliance or Adidas Mercury

By Products

With the Euro 2016 and the Copa America tournaments taken place, it is hard not to notice all the new cleats on the pitch.

Spark Brilliance Pack

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About a month ago, Nike released their new Spark Brilliance Pack with an entirely new batch of color ways. The Hyper Venom and The Mercurial lines have been completely re-engineered. The Hyper Venom goes “back to the future” by using a rendition of the first skin that was introduced back in 2013. The Superfly and Vapor has also been entirly remodeled with a new skin and sole plate that is 40% lighter and a new traction system that is designed for insane speed. In my opinion, Nike did a great job with their new pack. Check em out here.

Adidas Mercury Pack

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Adidas has also been busy. Recently they introduced The Mercury Pack which contains two new boots for 2016.  The X16+ PURECHAOS and the MESSI 16+ PUREAGILITY. This set has a brand new TECHFIT lacing system that allows the player to tuck their laces inside a flap on the cleat. Adidas’ new PURECUT SOCK SYSTEM keeps the laces out of sight to give the player an upgraded aerodynamic effect. Both cleats have new skins and sole plates that result in lighter weight and better traction.  The pack’s color ways are super sweet and shine bright on the pitch just like mercury. Check em out here.

Northville High School student, Carlie Castiglione, raises over $1600 for Charity Ball

By Fundraisers

Last week Sunday morning, the Total Sports Complex in Novi Michigan was the site for a competitive indoor soccer tournament hosted by Carlie Castiglione in an effort to raise money and awareness for Charity Ball.
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Carlie spent months planning and organizing the “Let’s Kick It! “event; obtaining a venue, registering teams, pulling in sponsors, and requesting donations for raffles and food. She also rallied her classmates from Northville High School to participate, and over 50 students played in the charity soccer event. Since I was in the area, I decided to check it out, and I was able to ask her a few questions.

Q: “Tell me about a little bit of what’s going on here today.”
A: “Today I’m running a soccer tournament and donating the proceeds to Charity Ball. For this soccer tournament each team is guaranteed three 35 minute games, then semi’s and finals.”

Q: “What does it mean to help kids?”
A: “It means a lot to me, I actually love doing it. Monday for (soccer) team practice we taught Special Ed kids how to play soccer. It makes me feel good about it because everybody has helped me so much; and giving back is the right thing to do.”

Q: “You could be doing anything else today. What’s your motivation for doing something like this?”
A: “To help you and help everybody else. I mean, everybody deserves a little bit of help.”

Q: “Do you have advice to anyone who’s thinking about doing something like this?”
A: “Go for it. It’s a lot of work but it really pays off in the end!”

Q: “What are your future plans?”
A: “Maybe next year to do something like this again and get more people out here!”

Huge props to Carlie for raising a total of $1,674! Her efforts will help give new soccer balls to over 65 kids in poverty-stricken communities. Way to go!

If you are interested in doing a charity event or online fundraiser for Charity Ball, please contact us.

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Disney Soccer Showcase: Midwest United FC U17

By Soccer Games

Like most of the guys on my Midwest United FC team, I’m beginning to narrow my focus and strategically train to compete on a collegiate level following my senior year next year.

A couple of weeks ago, while most people were exchanging gifts, I spent Christmas in the car traveling to Orlando, Florida to compete at the Disney Soccer Showcase. University coaches and scouts came to watch some of the top teams and players in the nation compete.

Disney had to be one of the coolest venues I’ve ever played at. The facility at ESPN World Wide Sports is incredible – soccer fields as far as the eye can see with grass cut to perfection. Just being there and walking the property the day before the tournament was astounding.
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We arrived on Saturday night and one of my first stops was the registration office in the Hilton Hotel on Disney’s campus. Let me tell you, that’s a crazy hotel. The swimming pool was ridiculous and about the size of a fairway. I went to the gathering area to meet up with the tournament director, Mark Luster and chat about Charity Ball. Mark is an awesome guy. I gave him an update and set his team up with several copies of the Charity Ball “Pass The Ball” Book along with some new decals. Afterwards, our family hopped in the car and headed to our hotel to call it a night.

The next morning was an early one. Our first game was at 8:30am, but I had to wake up at 6 to eat, get ready, and be there on time. Even though it’s a struggle waking up early, I love morning games. The dew on the grass that morning helped create the perfect conditions for an intense game.

We got the lead early off a breakaway by Jalin who tucked the ball into the back of the net. Our next goal didn’t come until the second half after another breakaway by J who notched it into the right upper 90 – leaving the keeper with no chance. The other team eventually got a goal, but it was nothing more than consolation after Alex added one on late to make it 3-1 for the final score. The rest of the day was basically hydrate, hydrate, hydrate plus protein and more protein.

Game 2 was the next day at 4:30pm against De La Sol. The game stated while the sun was still up, and ended under the lights. It was a tough contest. De La Sol got a nice goal about halfway through the first half and we had to fight our way back. We had a few chances in the first half but were unable to capitalize. It wasn’t until the 80th minute that we were able to score through a nice ball from my buddy Kev into Mo who hit it off the volley into the bottom corner. The game ended as a 1-1draw.
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Game 3 was a must-win. It was in the middle of the day and extremely hot. We started out a little slow, but kicked it into gear towards the last few minutes of the second half. The ball popped to the outside and we were able to get a cross in that Cam who placed it neatly in the left corner. Sam added another one before the half but so did the other team which made it 2-1 at break. At this point we looked over to the field across the sidewalk and saw that De La Sol was losing so all we had to do was hold on for the win. Although it was tough, that’s exactly what we did and made it to the championship.

It was the final day.10:45 kick-off against Sporting FC. It wasn’t our best performance. We weren’t playing as strong as we had the past few games and Sporting capitalized on a mistake and took a 1-0 lead. Despite the few chances that we had, we were unable to hit back before halftime. Our coach gave us a good talk at the half and we built off of that and used it as motivation to get after it. Then, after 25 minutes we finally got one back. A bouncing ball came to me in midfield. I saw Sam making a run towards goal so I lobbed it up off of the half-volley over the defender and in his path towards goal. He ran onto it, played it across the frame of the goal and J knocked it in.
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The rest of the 90 minutes was uneventful and overtime was necessary. Two 5-minute periods weren’t enough to decide the contest so penalties were next. After a series of strong PKs, our team was the first to miss. The next man for Sporting nailed his kick and won them the game. It’s always a bummer to lose in penalties, especially the final, but that’s soccer.

I’ve had the privilege to play in some very cool tournaments – South Africa, Nike, ODP Nationals etc. But I’ve got to say – Disney was one of the best.
-E
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