Copa del Rey Update, Team News

In the midst of this (awesome)  series of matches every couple of days, the Copa del Rey draw was today, and we now know that in the round of 32 we will face Real Unión de Irún as our first matches in defense of the Copa we won last year. These rounds of the CdR are great–we’ll be playing the ida at the Segunda B side’s 5,000-seat stadium. Obviously I hope we pass through without complication, but these matches where bigger teams play these smaller clubs in their smaller communities (Irún population: 61,000) gets at a part of the spirit of the game that I feel has been diminished in these times of multi-million dollar transfers and club purchases and increased emphasis on continental competitions. And of course it’s even better when Real Madrid loses to whatever tiny club they draw.

Anyway, we play Racing tomorrow! Depending on today’s results we may have a shot at claiming first place again before our busy month continues: we head to newly promoted (and not to be underestimated) Hércules on the weekend, then travel to Borussia for midweek Europa League, and then hurry home for our first real gut check of the season when we host Atleti a few days later. Busy stretch! To review, in the next 2 weeks we play 3 Liga games and 1 Europa game. (Note: after that is an international break.) What are your expectations for those games? I’ll start the bidding: I’d like to see us come out of that stretch with at least 6 points in Liga, and at least a draw in Borussia. What about you guys?