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January 4, 2007

John Ball Returns to the Chicago Storm


John Ball played with the Storm for five games in 2005. He's now joining the team again. He has 204 career goals.
John Ball played with the Storm for five games in 2005. He's now joining the team again. He has 204 career goals.
Linda Cuttone / Sports Vue Images
CHICAGO Welcome back. Midfielder John Ball played for the Storm for five games. Now hes coming back to Chicago. Thursday, the Storm traded midfielder/forward Semir Mesanovic, forward Elvir Kafedzic and a first round draft pick in the 2007 MISL Amateur Draft to the California Cougars for Ball.

A 12-year veteran of the Major Indoor Soccer League, Ball played 10 seasons with the Cleveland Crunch and Force (1995-2005), winning two championships (1995 & 1999). The Chicago Storm acquired the Hartford Connecticut native in the 2005 MISL Dispersal Draft. As a member of the Storm he played in five games, scoring three goals and two assists before being traded to California for forward Anthony Maher and midfielder Andy Rosenband.

Over the course of his MISL career, Ball has played in 354 games, scoring 204 goals, 156 assists and 396 blocks. The Southern Connecticut State University standout has earned seven MISL Player of the Week honors, been named to two All-MISL teams (2001 & 2005), is a three-time MISL All-Star (2001, 2003 & 2004), the MVP of the 2003 All-Star game and was named to the 1996-97 MISL All-Rookie team. John also represented his country as a member of the U.S. National Futsal Team on multiple occasions.

We made several moves during this past off season, with the sole purpose in mind of putting our team in a position to capture an MISL Championship, said Storm COO and GM Brian Loftin. As (head coach) Steve (Morris) and I assessed the progress of our team over the first two months of the season, we both agreed that we were a piece or two away from where we need to be. Adding John Ball into our new mix of players gives us another dimension, and we believe strengthens our overall team level.

The Storm acquired Mesanovic in December 2005, via trade with the Milwaukee Wave. Mesanovic played in 27 games for Chicago, scoring 15 goals and four assists as well as four blocks. For his career, the Duboj Bosnia native has 26 goals, seven assists and 19 blocks.

Chicago acquired Elvir Kafedzic in the 2006 MISL Dispersal Draft. In eight games with the Storm Kafedzic scored one goal, three assists and a block. The 24 year old is only in his third season in the MISL, tallying nine goals, four assists and three blocks in 32 games with Chicago and the St. Louis Steamers.

All three players have a chance to play against their former teams this Saturday as the Chicago Storm hosts the California Cougars at 1 p.m. at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
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