It’s Goodbye America versus Club America: Barcelona vs Club America Liveblog

It ends tonight, or uh, afternoon, whatever.

You know the drill. Kick off is at 4pm EST. (If you don’t, liveblog starts 10-15 minutes before kickoff).

Barcelona line-up (official via barcastuff): Valdes – Adriano Busquets Pique Abidal – Xavi Keita Iniesta – Thiago Villa Pedro

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Adriano Busquets Pique Abidal – Xavi Keita Iniesta – Thiago Villa Pedro #fcblive #tourfcb

    via @barcastuff

  2. Anyone want to guess whether we see Iniesta or Thiago on the wing?

    Personally I hope it’s Thiago. I’ve wondered is he could play as a winger in the past, and if he can it could certainly solve some of our problems with numbers in the front line. He is a more adventurous midfielder than Xavi, and possibly even Iniesta. Couple that with his ability to beat players on the dribble and score from outside the box and I wonder if he would be able to adapt to play a role on the wing similar to how Ronaldinho used to play.

    Would love to see Thiago strive there, as that would mean even if Cesc comes this summer (unlikely), or next summer, Thiago would still be able to find significant minutes.

  3. Gracies, equip! Thank you for putting on a good tour in the States. Although, I am a disappointed that the team didn’t make it to the West Coast this summer; overall, this was a good PR tour for Barca and I’m really happy to see Pep our B team. My husband is never a fan of these friendlies as his theory is they never play the first team. But being in the States, you do take advantage of these opportunities (Heck, I even had the nerve to wear my blaugrana colors and my “antimadrista” scarf at an Evil Empire game here at SF Candlestick last year).
    Thank you, BFB community for covering everything Barca comprehensively. I have been reading your blog for almost a year now and this is my first brave post. I call it brave because you guys seem so tightly-knit, like you all know each other. I figure if I’m a cule, I’d be welcome in this forum. So thank you for the good articles — I look forward to reading them after a long day at work. Like soccermomof4, I’m crazy about football and live for my daughter’s tournaments and Barca matches, of course. Visca Barca! Visca BFB!

    1. Aww shucks. Stay a while, DumbOx! You’re more than welcome! The more you comment, the more likely you are to find your niche. πŸ˜€

    2. Welcome Mom.

      But what you did at the Madrid match was kinda….
      One Man U fan who turned up at a Liverpool match at my place was stripped of his clothes in the stadium.

    3. Welcome, DumbOx – and stick around!

      I felt pretty much the same when I first started reading BFB, but you get to “know” people very quickly around here – especially if you join in a Liveblog during a Barca game!

      The BIGGEST plus about this blog is that the commenters here are, on the whole, very respectful of other comments, and will reply with intelligent discussion. They really know their Barca!

      Keep the comments coming, and you’ll find that it will get easier as you become more known to the rest of us.


  4. Just a couple thoughts:

    * I was babbling a few posts ago about how Pep’s strategy seemed to be to add attacking midfielders rather than forwards, since we have the same number of forwards as a year ago but if we got Cesc (which he wants) there would be two more AMs. So I was guessing we’d see more and more games where Thiago, Xavi and Iniesta all play, with only two true forwards. Today that happened… and it looked pretty good.

    * If you count Busi, playing CB, we had five midfielders starting the game. Maybe soon Pep will be fielding a 0-10-0….

    * I do think there was a big downgrade in quality of our possessions when Xavi went off in the second half. Even with Iniesta and Thiago… we still can’t replace Xavi’s eyes.

    * VV was *great* in the first half. Some people say he’s mediocre and only wins Zamoras because he never gets tested…. But that’s nonsense, because when he’s tested, like today, he shows his quality.

    * I always smile when Keita gets a goal. I smiled extra because of the way he got the ball. Excited to see more of Deulofeu.

    That’s it!

    1. Re: your first point, I do remember you talking about that. Good call.

      The African Cup of Nations is this year, so we will (potentially) miss Keita in January — a very difficult month. Thiago’s going to play a lot this season, more than Pep would want him to, I bet. In my opinion, some people might be underestimating Thiago a bit (hard, I know, with all the hype). He started a crucial away match at Villarreal and performed brilliantly. Do I want to put a lot of pressure on him? No. But I’m just saying that he has more maturity than some think.

      That all being said, Pep’s a strong believer in slow integration for young players so the push for Fabregas will reach its ultimate point next week. He’s already ruled out of the start of the EPL season (on Saturday)…

    2. Thiago’s upside is limitless. To me, the slow integration is mostly about helping him avoid mistakes. There was that moment in the game today where he basically passed directly to the other team in the box, and it took Valdes to save us from a gift of a goal. You can play beautiful linking football on the attack till the cows come home, but if you go and give away a goal it’s hard to have made a net positive contribution.

      The way BarΓ§a plays, with all the passing and the high pressing, seems to rely more than most teams on not making passing mistakes β€” those mistakes are disastrous for us. As Thiago gains experience, he should learn the focus that avoids moments like today’s.

      And I’m sure everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I still think Fabregas is coming. The teams are playing a big game of chicken, each hoping the other will blink so they can get the best deal. And there’s a lot of face-saving as well for Arsenal, who desperately want to convince the world and themselves that this doesn’t mean they’re not a “big club”. But I think at this point Arsenal is resigned to losing him; it’s hard to imagine reintegrating him into the squad at this point. I think we will add a couple mil, won’t quite meet Arsenal’s evaluation but will get closer, and in the end it gets done.

    3. Agree on Thiago.

      And I’m sure everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I still think Fabregas is coming.

      I doubt anyone does. I know I’m in denial (I thought I passed it and went to the next stage of anger, but it seems like that’s not the case…yet. THI4GO. ) πŸ˜€

      The thing about Fabregas for me is his price. It’s perfectly justified and everything, given the English market, but I just feel that money could be used elsewhere, like strengthening our defense.

      There is a strong likelihood he’s coming. The Benfica non-trip, Wenger conference/excuse, not making a single appearance for Arsenal this preseason despite training, missing the start of the EPL campaign and in danger of missing crucial CL qualifiers at him with Nasri and RVP missing… All this while he’s team captain. Not to mention Xavi saying on RAC1 that this transfer drama is “at its final stage.”

      At this point, I’m tired. Just thinking of another summer of this nonsense makes me cringe. I’d buy him just to end it all.

    4. If we don’t buy Cesc this summer, he’s going to start showing up at Arsenal games with a four-day stubble and a bottle of vodka tucked into his jersey, and then start running towards the wrong goal. He’ll stand in the center of the pitch in the middle of the game, pull out a BarΓ§a jersey, and pull it over his own head before running in circles making chicken noises.

      And Arsene will say, “It’s just so clear how much Cesc loves Arsenal. He’s a true professional.”

    5. I agree with your first point and I was thinking the same myself throughout the game.

      Barca’s attack manifested itself in three creative midfielders, and two outside strikers. The hole in the center makes the CBs less effective as they either have to split to cover the wide players, while Barca’s midfielders drop so deep the CBs can’t be part of a pressing defense. The hole in the middle forces the traditional defense to invert, as the CBs need to press farther up to make themselves useful and the fullbacks are the only options to cover the wingers.

      I could see this being a formation Pep employs in the future – many on this blog wanted another striker to lead the line, but what I think Guardiola would contend is that the line needn’t be led. The wingers cut in, the midfielders burst forward, and the CBs are confounded by a sudden blitz across the pitch. Watch Thiago’s runs forward against Club America – this is how the team will play without a striker.

      Barca’s transfers make sense in this model – a pacy, technically gifted winger in Sanchez and a goal-scoring attacking mid in Cesc. Perfect for what this calls for.

    1. Ahhh I see.

      Hodor: Hodor is a simple-minded giant who works as a stableboy at Winterfell. He is Old Nan’s great-grandson. Though his true name is Walder, he is usually called “Hodor” because that is the only word he ever says. No one knows exactly what “hodor” means or why he says it. He has a friendly, childish disposition and is easily frightened despite his great strength. Upon meeting him, Osha suspected that Hodor has Giant blood in his ancestry due to his great size, hairiness, and low intelligence.

      So it wasn’t him being a hater and the bad spelling… Or it was a multi-layered joke that would be funny to both people who have and haven’t read the book… yeah I’ll plump for that explanation since it makes me feel smarter.

    2. I laughed too, though I laughed more at it just randomly being there (and misspelled, of course) than cos I actually get it.

      I took it as a misspelling of Hater, though. Cos the Arsenal guy was misspelling stuff incl Josep as Josip etc.

  5. @Kari — Thank you for the welcome. I find your posts quite funny and witty. There’s intelligence to them without taking yourself too seriously.
    While our B boys showed better today, I can’t wait for the first team to train together. Although they only have a few days to train together before the Super Cup, our boys are mentally tough and can take on EE.

    1. Deulofeu – made the goal. Better performance. Defensive contributions were good, really hustled after he lost the ball.
      Gomez – solid if unspectacular.
      JDS – some good, some bad. RB experiment is not really working. Was better as he moved central.
      Carmona – sucks. Espinosa should have been there instead.
      Cuenca – liked what I saw. Still rough around the edges, but made some great runs, particularly in the second half.
      Masip – solid debut. Some questionable decision-making IMO, but that would be a little harsh.

      I think I got all of ’em.

    2. eh deulofeu made pretty much one defensive contribution and its because he lost the ball haha.

      masip didn’t have to do much, he almost gave up a goal though when he didnt come out on a thru ball and left fontas hanging.

      cuenca is so composed on the ball, you’d think he’s iniesta’s age. diamond in the rough right here

  6. DVR’ed the match, gonna watch later today. Anyone know who was wearing which no. and any particular player to keep an eye out for (specially for off the ball movement etc)?

    1. All the first teamers are wearing their usual numbers… Thiago was wearing 4 like he has been all pre-season. Let’s see, JDS was wearing 18, Cuenca 29, Sergi Gomez 12, and Deulofeu 30. And Masip…. 25?

  7. One last thing before I go to bed: I totally copped out and got Twitter. It’s @officialkari if anyone’s interested. (Probably not).

    I don’t really know anyone here (or I do and just forgot. (<-- Very likely)). You can post yours below or just say hi or something and I'll follow. That includes lurkers. πŸ˜›

  8. Why did we let Nolito go again? An assist and a beautiful goal against Arsenal ain’t bad..should’ve been with us this season.

    1. He wanted to go. Pep wanted him to stay with the B team for another season and give him more minutes with the first team, but he wanted to go somewhere he could be a first choice.

  9. Overall, it was a better game than last but the defense was not solid I’m afraid. Praying for Puyol to be healthy and start the season (finger crossed).
    Anyway, I’m so excited to see Messi and the rest back on Monday πŸ™‚

  10. WOOT MOC MOC!!!!! Now you can finally stalk Jnicee You’re finally there!

    @Eklavya_FCB —> Moi

    1. And now we move on to other targets: Jose, Helge, Euler and eventually the whole blog lol.

    2. I only just got back on Twitter yesterday after over a month out and Kari, Blitzen and even Miguel(?) have joined huh? (Wait, what’s Miguel’s?)

  11. Ooh…we could only beat a SMALL CLUB i cant spell their name correctly 2-0,while EE thrashed a GREAT world renowned TIANJIN CHEDA 6-0 *sighs*…..kari!!!!!!! Kxevin!!!!,isaiah!!!!! euler!!!!!!!!….we are all gonna die

  12. Just got to Barcelona and my Perico family is saying the Barca-EE game will have plenty of seats for sale since socis don’t get to reserve one. Not sure how true that is, but hopefully I can get myself into the Camp Nou one way or another !

    1. Thanks! There indeed are quite a few seats available. Apparently this game usually is free to socis, but because of this year’s opponent they’re making it cost money. Another Rosell innovation maybe?

    2. Hopefully! According to Michele/nzm, it’s not selling well. And when I went to the site, I could have gotten awesome seats if I lived in Barcelona. Le sigh.

  13. Deulofeu-Always said this kid had bucketloads of raw talent but he needs to temper his personality more. Show this level of dedication with the B-team and he will get call-ups in a year.

    Cuenca-This kid surprises me to no extent. TBH I don’t know much about him but damn he looks composed.

    Fontas-He’s really good but pace will be a problem. He can counter it by reading the game better which he has shown before.

    JDS-He seems OK-ish. I’d rather that he would’ve played at DM than Keita. I just hope he continues in a positive frame of mind. Ha can make it in 2-3 years for sure. He reads moves well, is aware of his responsibilities, he might develop slowly but he’ll get there, I’m sure of it.

    Good to see Masip getting some time.

    Carmona looks out of place. Dunno why he keeps getting more time?

    And finally, I so called it on Thiago playing as a false 9:

    Oh and I joined twitter too @Triplo_Volanti
    Added most of the Barca people there. Would like to follow people about Atleti, Villareal Valencia and Sevilla.

  14. Hey Guys, new on here though I’ve been reading this blog for a while. Luv it. Anyway, I’m the only Barca fan in my family. A couple of my brothers are just anti-Barca meaning they always want Barca to lose so they have been making snide remarks about our preseason showing, especially since EE has been lighting it up. I don’t know if I’m an idiot, but I do not feel anxious at all. I watch the body language and expressions of the team esp those on the bench/sidelines …… they don’t look worried. Maybe Pep and his boys are good poker players but I think they know that when it really matters, they will rise to any challenge.
    I also remember b4 the first classico last season, EE was scoring goals at will just the same and we all know how that turned out. Not saying it’s going to be a manita, but I would be so surprised if our boys aren’t up for the Supercup.
    Who knows EE may have been lulled into false sense of superiority … they are by nature disposed to do so.
    I am looking forward to next weekend.
    Does anyone else feel the knew Liga match times are just giving RM (Rabid Mourinho) something else to rant about? I’m betting he will not like the times his team gets to play.

    1. EVERYTHING under the sun is something else for Mourinho to rant about.

      I’m also not worried. The boys always turn it up five or six notches in the biggest games or when it matters. Like the Arsenal second leg, we’d been limping through February but when it mattered we stifled Arsenal out of a single shot let alone shot on goal and gave one of the best performances of the season. As well as many other big games we come across. Pep’s Barca have always raised their game for the big occasions so I always have confidence.

    2. Welcome but please don’t use abbreviations. We don’t have a 160character or how many it is on twitter world πŸ™‚

      I don’t really care. Cause just like you said, before the Clasico they were scoring for fun. Like their China tour, c’mon, would you rather have our boys playing against semi-pro’s or against pro’s from football nations (England-Man U, Mexico)?
      Playing against Chinese teams maybe a good confidence booster but they won’t stretch you. Before an match exam, you would try something difficult don’t you, not something elementary.

    3. Welcome!

      I haven’t watched any of their games, so I can’t really comment to be honest. In any case, I feel like our preparations are going on nicely. Need Messi, Alves, and Sanchez back in training, but all is well.

  15. @Calvin aka visco

    I too have been thinking about Thiago at LW. He can do what Dinho did. The only thing lacking is speed. Dinho could go past one and run at full speed. I’m not too confident about Thiago doing that. Never seen him running at full pace because we jsut don’t play that way anymore.

    I think you guys are harsh on Carmona. He is a hard worker. He really looks un-natural. I think that Pep sees something in him. Last season Pep said that he wants Jeffren to be the new Pedro. I have a feeling that it is how he feels about Carmona.

    Fontas is pretty awful when dealing with high balls. The opposition just has to launch the ball from their half, EPL style, and we are in deep trouble!

    I thought JDS played well once again. He may not be strong and athletic but he makes it up by reading the game so well. Most of the times when he dispossessed the ball, it’s due to his anticipation. He is like Busi.

    Why didn’t Riverola and Espinosa get some minutes? I thought they played well the match before.

    Deulofeu once again rushes into things! He can’t seem to make even the simplest of passes. I don’t know. I just watched the match against Chivas again, the 4-1 loss, and the match against Club America 14 hours ago so maybe my memory only serves the Chivas match. He couldn’t even make a simple pass.

    He needs to learn how to pass and then when to pass and when to dribble. Now it seems that whenever he get’s the ball, all he wants to do is dribble. It’s fine but after he beat the man he doesn’t know what to do with it.

    I wish he came on earlier though.

    1. I think you guys are harsh on Carmona. He is a hard worker. He really looks un-natural. I think that Pep sees something in him. Last season Pep said that he wants Jeffren to be the new Pedro. I have a feeling that it is how he feels about Carmona.

      Haha, are you serious? There’s no way Pep feels that way about Carmona. No chance of him becoming the new anything. He will struggle to play on BarΓ§a B. He was terrible last season and will be the same this season. It’s the truth.

      Cuenca could be the new whoever, but there’s no way Pep feels Carmona is capable of contributing meaningfully to the first team.

    2. I agree that Carmona isn’t much good, but why then does Pep keep giving him minutes over other (better) options? He must see something in him that we don’t. Or is he just trying to build his confidence?

    3. Carmona’s 24 and won’t get any more chances with the first team. I firmly believe that if our B-team players weren’t at the U-20 WC, Pep would be playing them instead, especially Sergi Roberto.

  16. Hello,How’s the blog and the club going?.Been really very,very busy so have’nt logged in.So,We still have’nt signeg Cesc,have we?.The thought of it makes me feel giddy.If I think hat Cesc is wanted,then the next moment I think of Thiago’s development and if I think otherwise,Xavi’s injury worries me.So,I’ve come to very good decision which is not to think of it.Good na!! πŸ™‚

    I’ve asked this before but can someone give me a website which has free dowloadable and free of registration matches of La Manita and the UCL final matches?.HD would be better.Those are the matches which can be seen anytime.Thanks!

    1. Well,I forgot to add that toady is Friendship day in India.


  17. Read somewhere that Cesc was offering to give up almost 5 million in loyalty bonuses to make the Barca deal happen. I am starting to feel sorry for him. He seems to me to be really miserable right now, caught in no-man’s land. He must know he will not be an automatic starter but he still wants to come, (not to be mean, but he is used to sitting out matches – he’s injured a lot). If wenger loves him as much as he says he does, wouldn’t he want him to be happy? I don’t think the Arsenal players will really look at Cesc the same way after this. If he stays at Arsenal and has a bad season everyone will say it’s because he was not committed to the team, whether or not that’s so.

    1. You just gotta love him for that. What more does he need to do???!!!

      On another note, Im watching Charity Shield now. It’s really a poor match. Poor passes. Both of the teams can’t even string 4 passes together. Is this a normal scenario at a EPL match?

    2. it’s generally not this bad, part of it is nerves. but yeah, welcome to the “best league in the world”

  18. its a good thing that proper english teams don’t pressure the referee and get in his face, that would be unfortunate.

    1. Yeah, it’s proper that they never do that. Everyone knows that it only works when you do it in that smooth, almost seductive Spanish. πŸ˜‰

    1. The game was amazing! United’s second goal could’ve been scored by Barca, almost tiki tika πŸ™‚

      Silva lacked a decent stricker upfront, Dzeko is not mobile enough for Silva’s passes, but his fk execution is flaw free. Still wish Silva was not wasting his career on City πŸ™ He and YaYa are too good for them…

    2. The first half was very meh, Carrick was playing and you all know how static he can be, no forward movement on his off day…

      But the second half United came out swinging and very much kicked major City ass.

  19. Sitting in a parking lot in the rain piggybacking off a (closed) cafe’s wifi and trying not to look suspicious. πŸ˜›

    So we finally won a friendly? Yay! Downloading it now.Wondering if I should bother downloading the Spain game that was supposed to be on my TV yesterday according to the guide but was actually the Croatia/Guatemala borefest. Grrr.

    I’m having a relaxing vacation, but it would be nice to have internet at the house. Stupid elderly parents. πŸ˜›

    1. Am doing so now. It’s an mkv version so I will be able to watch it on my parents’ TV through the BluRay player I bought them.Ain’t technology grand? πŸ˜€

      I have taken note of your twitter address but I’m not going to follow you until I get back from vacation. I had to temporarily unfollow a bunch of people because I only have limited internet time here and it was taking ages to get through all the posts. Especially when silly people like Josep insist on posting updates on their FM11 games. πŸ˜›

    2. Well. I’ll be flooding peoples timelines, probably. Although I really just want to be there for the news… #coppedouthardcore

    3. m i intervening between u 2 girls?

      thinking of joining twitter.

      is it any good?

      and who is gonna follow me?

    4. I’m not really sure (if it’s any good). I just joined yesterday. Probably a bunch of BFB people will follow you.

    5. Well, I think it depends.

      If you have a lot of interesting stuff to share with the world, it’s great.

      But I personally would not know what do tweet, since – for instance – any Barcelona related news have been tweeted by someone else before. There’s also going on a lot of trash-talking or totally insignificant stuff like “Brushing my teeth while it’s raining outside. Moc moc!” and I’m not into that stuff.

      It’s great to have people like @barcastuff or to follow all the Barca players (obviosuly you need an account to follow people – but @barcastuff summarizes pretty much everything that’s posted by PiquΓ© & Co, so I only use @barcastuff as a bookmarked site and I’m fine with it), but in my opinion the vast majority of what’s tweeted on twitter is bs. Sorry, I’m obviously not a twitter fan per sΓ©.

      If you want to discuss tactics, is the place to be.
      And personally, if I want to talk to friends, I prefer instant chat messengers over twitter.

      Maybe a real twitter fan can give you some pro arguments? πŸ™‚

  20. Hey, does anybody know if the South Americans (i.e. Messi, Mascherano, Sanchez and Adriano) will join their national teams in mid-week?

    I could understand if Adriano joins Brazil, but the rest didn’t play or even train at all. So please confirm that they’ll be rested πŸ™‚

    1. Alves and Alexis will.

      In total, Thiago, Pedro, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pique, Vades for Spain; Abidal for France; Dani for Brasil; Alexis for Chile = 11 players. :/

      The rest (heh) have the day off.

    2. Thanks helge.
      i was also thinking bout twitter in a similar way.

      along with barcastuff,i also bookmarked sid,graham hunters twitter.

      thank u again.

      @kari,i know u will follow.other then u who will follow me?

  21. Before I become judgemental does anybody here remember Moumou claiming EVER in his managerial career how he prefers small squads because it keeps the group competitive making everyone feel important ready to play while also the youngsters from the B-team feel that they may have a shot to play some games with the first teams squad???
    Does anyone remember him saying things like that before? I sure don’t but as I said want to be certain…

Comments are closed.