Skip to main content


Gaming For Change

Sports have always provided Michael Bush & Jack Wilson of South Lakes High School, in Reston, VA great memories and experiences that have helped to shape their lives. So when it came time for both to pick a project for their MYP (Middle Years Project), the Charity Ball was a natural fit. Bush is a member of the BRYC Elite Soccer Club and Wilson plays for South Lake’s basketball and lacrosse teams. Both are also active video game players. Having seen the success South Lakes junior Bardia Kimiavi had in raising money for the Charity Ball last year through a video game tournament, Bush & Wilson jumped at the chance to continue the tradition.

“Bardia showed us the ropes, and we made it a goal to exceed last year’s total of $500” Bush said. “We have a real competitive group in the junior and sophomore classes, which helped in getting entrants” said Wilson. The two decided on holding both a FIFA and 2k tournament that raised $850 and saw participants ranging from freshman to alumni. “It feels good to give soccer players from parts of the world that don’t have the opportunities we have been provided a chance to play the game they love” Bush said. “There were some close games and the rooms got hyped, you really felt the sense of community” said Wilson. For Jon McNamara, the South Lakes teacher who supervised the tournament, that was the most powerful part. “As I watched one of the games that went to overtime, I realized we had seven years of students together in one room for a great cause. Our school is built off community and the theme once a Seahawk, always a Seahawk and I really felt that brotherhood that day”.  Towards the end of the day Wilson said a few freshman came up to him wondering if they could continue the tournament next year for their MYP. “It looks like charity video game tournament is here to stay” he said.  “It feels great to tie in two big parts of our life, sports and gaming and help out people at the same time”. It’s clear the partnership with Charity Ball has helped out some deserving kids and provided some new memories for these two student athletes.

Huge thanks to Michael and Jack for using what you love to do to make a difference!

The 2016/17 Nike Ordem 4 Match Ball

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.


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.


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


Charity Ball All-Stars; Ethan Friedman

Next up in our series of Charity Ball All-Stars is a 7 year old kid from Florida, named Ethan Friedman. He started an online fundraising campaign called “Futbol for Friends” and was able to raise $2,050. Pretty impressive for a kid who’s only in first grade.


One day in school, after hearing about how kids in Peru gather up trash bags and twine in order to construct a soccer ball to play with, Ethan felt motivated to help. Unlike most people, he went beyond his intentions and started brainstorming possible ways of helping kids. After hearing about Charity Ball and discovering the possibility of starting up an online fundraiser, he was all in.

“I passed flyers out at school, told my friends and family, handed out Charity Ball books at my soccer training academy, and with the help of my parents, I sent emails and posted on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.”

Ethan really enjoyed seeing the donations come through on the website. He was super excited to help the kids, and humbled by peoples’ encouragement and support.

Huge props to a young guy who took action, and accomplished something big for his age. Thanks for your efforts Ethan!

I’d like to say real quick that one of my goals when I started Charity Ball, was to inspire and encourage kids. My hope was that they would be challenged to use what they love to do, and leverage it to help others. All-Stars like Kaveen Chandra and Ethan Friedman used what they love, to put the spotlight on other kids around the world who don’t have the same opportunities. That’s what it’s all about.

Charity Ball’s Top 14 of 2014

Every year we look back and highlight some of the the best of the best that’s happened in the world of soccer and the world of Charity Ball. 2014 was an amazing year on many fronts. After sifting through all the good stuff, our team has identified what we consider the top 14 happenings of 2014.

Check em out.

14. Nike’s “Risk Everything” Campaign

Definitely one of the sickest soccer/football campaigns of 2014.

13. Charity Ball featured in People Magazine, Time, and Sports Illustrated

Huge thanks to the many media outlets that featured Charity Ball this past year.

12. Real Madrid vs. Manchester United at The Big House in Ann Arbor, MI & the 109,318 person wave

Without a doubt, one of the best soccer games ever.


11. Bumpy Pitch partners with Charity Ball, introduces new “Pass Back” Tee

Big props to Brian, Ben, ISPS and the guys. Thanx for the ongoing support!

10. Continental Tire partners with Charity Ball, donates 1000 Adidas Soccer Balls

The folks at Continental Tire are amazing. Watch our Twitter feeds for upcoming recipient pix.

9. Landon Donovan wraps up a stellar career

Arguably the most iconic US player ever. We’ll miss your presence on the pitch. Bonus Footlocker vid below.

8. Johnson & Johnson partners with Charity Ball to hand-deliver 500 new soccer balls to kids in Brazil

An incredible company that sincerely cares. Thanx for believing in what we do.

7. The reincarnation of the Nike Mercurial Superfly

Soccer innovation at it’s best.

6. Fox interview in Central Park with Bryan Llenas

Awesome interview, awesome guy. Thanx Bry.

5. Real Madrid wins the UEFA Champion’s League Final

Congrats to Los Blancos on winning La Décima!

4. Ethan King writes for the Huffington Post

Thanx for the opportunity HP!

3. The FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil & The USMNT

Thanx to Jurgen and the guys for giving us a reason to believe.

2. Katie Couric features Charity Ball & Ethan King on the Katie Couric Show

One of the sweetest ladies on the face of the planet. Katie, thanx for helping us make it more beautiful.

1. The incredible people across the planet who helped us make it happen in 2014

The real heroes. Charity Ball is what it is because of you!
HS Charity Ball group photo

Giving Back: 500 Soccer Balls to Kids in Brazil

Two weeks ago I hopped a plane and flew to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the recent host cities for the 2014 World Cup. Without a doubt, Rio is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever visited. The style, the people, the vibe, the love of soccer/football – it’s all amazing. So much of the culture resonates with who I am as a person. I hope to get back there in the near future for an extended period of time to explore and learn more about the Brazilian way of life.

I learned that there two stereotypical perceptions of Rio; a exotic beach-city, or an illegitimate slum city. A majority of the people who live in the favelas are operating below the national poverty line and make less than $2,000 a year. While there definitely is a discrepancy between the metropolitan city, right off Copacabana beach, and the favelas on the outskirts, the truth is they’re both full of beautiful people who all have the same love & passion for the Beautiful Game.

Shortly after arriving we met up with our film crew. Brian Sewell was the production manager and a really great guy to work with. We loaded up a few vans and headed to the famous Salaron Steps to take some photos and shoot some B-roll for a video that will be released by Johnson & Johnson very soon. My bro, Jade, and I juggled and passed the ball around on top of the steps while the crew grabbed some footage. The steps were super-cool and a neat little enclave in the maze of city streets.

After finishing up at the steps, we traveled to a small bay area across from Sugar Loaf Mountain. This is one of the well-known landmarks in Rio. We shot some more footage and then headed over to Copacabana beach. Copacabana is awesome. It’s lined with sand soccer fields as far as the eye can see, as well as soccer-volleyball nets. I remember seeing glimpses of it on TV during the World Cup. We shot a few more scenes and called it a day.

The next morning was the main event. We got up early and headed to the center of the city. Charity Ball, Johnson & Johnson and Saúde Criança, (a local NGO that helps families break the cycle of poverty) hosted a special event for kids where we hand-delivered new Charity Balls. 500 kids who live in favelas received their own new soccer ball. I was really impressed with the collaboration and how the event was organized. It was excellent.

However, the best part was meeting the kids and seeing the anticipation on their faces as they arrived and waited to receive their new ball. The event was sweet. There was music, laughter, games, celebration, and I even got to dance with some of the Brazilian teenage girls. Not too bad.


The event wrapped up around 3pm and we headed over to see the Christ The Redeemer Statue. Apart from delivering the soccer balls to the kids, this had to be one of the coolest moments of the trip. Looking out across the skyline, seeing the city, the beach, the favelas, and the Maracana World Cup stadium was fantastic.

The real eye-opener came on the final day. We were able to connect with a guy by the name of Zezinho who actually lives in Rocinha, the largest mountain-side favela in Rio. Racinha_CharityBall

We all jumped on a bus and headed to the top. This time we chose a different tactic for hand-delivering balls. Zezinho knows a lot of the kids in Rocinha and helped us identify which ones would truly benefit from a gift like this. The first boy we gave a ball to couldn’t believe it. His name was Felipe. When I asked him if he wanted a new soccer ball, I could tell he didn’t think I was serious. I smiled, reached inside my case and grabbed a new Adidas soccer ball. As I began to inflate it, his face lit up with excitement. When I had finished and handed him the ball, his jaw dropped to the ground. He kept saying thank you over and over. I was personally moved by how grateful he was. It’s one of the moments where the power of generosity effects the person giving as much as the person who is receiving.

We hand-delivered 27 balls that day. 527 in all.

Special thanks to: Katie Couric, Johnson & Johnson, Alex Holland, Kelly Planer, Brian Walker, our friends at Saúde Criança, Wade Berger, Zezinho and The Dress Code Family in New York.

The Huffington Post invited me to write a an article about “What I learned about Love through Giving.” You can catch it here.

Nike Brazil Ordem Limited Edition Soccer Ball: Review

“Did you see that bend!!??” was the first thing I said after striking the New Limited Edition Nike Ordem LE Brazil Match Ball. It was an awesome feeling and a crazy experience. This has got to be one of the sickest balls I have ever kicked. Not only does it look legit, it also performs off the chart.

Here’s the quick & dirty:

Look: The design and graphics on the ball are meant to be a symbol of celebration for Brazil hosting the 2014 Fifa World Cup. It celebrates the timeless sport of soccer with a graphic inspired by Brazil and Brazilian culture. It stands for the relentless pursuit of innovation to spark a revolution that will transcend the pitch, celebrate the soccer culture, and leave a legacy to the game we all love.

Touch: Unlike other soccer balls I own, this Nike match ball has a firmer bladder and softer skin. The core bladder is strong and substantial, making it more responsive and the unique skin creates a super-intimate touch. It’s insane!

Flight: Overall, the ball flies pretty true in the air. In other words, it goes where you want it to go.

Durability: If you take good care of this ball and keep it on the pitch, you shouldn’t have any problems with longevity. Remember, its a limited edition so if you use it for street or futsol and it get’s murdered, you won’t be able to exchange it for another one.

Fact: The Ordem LE is no longer available for purchase at If you’re lucky, you might be able to snag one off ebay for just under $600. Yep, that right six zero zero. That how much these bad-boys are going for.

I was fortunate enough to receive one of the first production models as a gift.
ordem ball

Keep passing the ball,


Refuse to be Dominated: We Believe

Just over 200 years ago, a small group of passionate people rose up and fought for a dream. They believed that a life marked by freedom, liberty and justice for all was possible. They made plans, took risks and sailed to a new world. As fate would have it, the long arm of oppression soon followed and attempted to rob them of their dream.

Refusing to be dominated, they rose up. Fueled by insane conviction, they fought hard, gave it everything they had and eventually won.

Today, the USA is one of the greatest countries in the world.

And although (2 centuries later) we have our challenges, one thing remains the same – our freedom! We are free today because a handful of people onced believed.

That same spirit that forged America years ago lives in us today. It’s what drives us to dream even bigger dreams and rise above anything and anyone who may seek to dominate us in life or on the field.

In the 2014 World Cup group stage we will immediately face 3 teams (Germany, Ghana & Portugal) that will do everything they can to dominate and rob us of our dream. However, we have something far greater than talent, fame or endorsements.

We have the unbelievable power to believe.

ESPN’s new 2014 World Cup commercial is a testimony to who we are and how we operate as a nation. We dream. We plan. We work. We rise up. We fight.

We believe.

-Team Charity Ball

All 2014 World Cup Jerseys

There have been so many sick jerseys released for the FIFA 2014 World Cup. We’ve talked about how how cool it would be to see them all of them in one place. So rather than waiting, we pulled them together ourselves. Below are all the home and away jerseys for each national soccer team participating in this years World Cup in Brazil. Enjoy.

Group A
Cameroon. jpg

Group B

Group C
Ivory Coast

Group D
Costa Rica

Group E

Group F
Bosnia Herzegovina

Group G (Group of Death)

United States

Group H

South Korea

Google Images
Footy Headlines
Yahoo Images
World Soccer Shop

Mercurial Vapor: Tropical Pack

As the countdown to the World Cup continues, Nike has released another pair of stunning boots – The Mercurial Vapor Tropical Pack. They come on the backside of Nike’s re-released “Flashback Pack” which is a renovated version of all the Nike World Cup shoes starting in 1998. Nike chose the “Tropical” title because the boot is supposed to mimic the shapes and colors of the Amazon.

The new graphic is very bold and fits the title. Consisting of three different colors, Hyper Turquoise, Laser Orange, Flash Green, the boot is a limited edition and only 2500 of each color way are being released. (Each pair will have its own number)

The Nike Mercurial Vapor Tropical pack still includes the famous “All Conditions Control” (ACC). The stud pattern on the shoe is similar to the most recent Mercurial boots. This boot features the same Teijin upper as on the Nike CR7 boot.

Overall, I really like the new look. Personally I would like to see Nike release more and more boots leading up to the World Cup. I’m curious to hear what you guys think. Connect with us on Twitter or through email – Z

Twitter @cbzach


Image Source: Soccer Bible

Bumpy Pitch + Charity Ball “Pass Back” T-Shirt

Back in 2010, I received an email from Ben Hooper. Ben is one of the coolest guys on the planet. He has a huge heart and heads up the soccer lifestyle clothing company, Bumpy Pitch out in L.A.

BP produces some really cool soccer lifestyle threads that both players and fans love. He told me he was really interested in what I was doing and he wanted to see if he could do an interview with me for his website. Little did I know that this website was headed up by former MLS pro, Brian Duneseth. Brian now commentates for a lot of the MLS games, especially for Real Salt Lake, out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Anyway, the interview was posted and received some good feedback.

Ever since then, my relationship with Ben and Brian has grown and they have become huge supporters and part of the Charity Ball Family. BP/ Tow helped sponsor and promote the Play [well] Cup Tournament that we hosted in Mozambique last June. In addition to the release of the “Pass the Ball” documentary and book that came out recently, the guys decided to put the icing on the cake by creating the Bumpy Pitch + Charity Ball “Pass Back” T-shirt.

The shirt is a picture of a soccer loving kid from Mozambique who basically has nothing. Most kids in these rural communities never touch a real soccer ball, much less own one. With desire and passion to play the beautiful game, kids look for anything they can to create makeshift balls. They use trash bags, twine, string and even new condoms (passed out by government to prevent HIV/AIDS) as ball bladders. When you really love the game, you do what you can to play. Kids using whatever they can, like a needle and string to create a ball and play the game is a beautiful thing. However, these kids deserve better – right? Life for them is hard enough. If anyone deserves a new quality soccer ball, it’s these kids. That’s what this “Pass Back” T-Shirt is all about – helping enhance what’s already beautiful and adding a little generosity to make it a “more beautiful.”

The picture is a statement – “As beautiful as it is, we can make it more beautiful.”


When you purchase a “Pass Back” T, 50% of the profits help Charity Ball get kids in poverty-stricken communities new, quality soccer balls.

You can get yours <a href=”” target=”_blank”>here</a> and it comes in <a href=”” target=”_blank”>black</a> or <a href=”” target=”_blank”>white</a>

Special thanks to Ben, Dunny and the guys at BP/TOW for helping us pass the ball.