The News: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers take on Barcelona in Champions League action live on ESPN 2 at 2:30 ET. The match up tonight between two of Europe’s most tradition-laden clubs marks the first time that they’ve met in a European competition.
Of Note: Both clubs have won their first two Group E matches, though Barcelona currently sits in first place on goal difference. The two teams had contrasting results at the weekend: Rangers comprehensively defeated Celtic, 3-0, in the first Old Firm Derby of the year, while Barcelona crashed to a 3-1 defeat at high-flying Villarreal. Additionally, both clubs have key players sidelined for tonight’s game. For the Glasgow club, forward Jean-Claude Darcheville and holding midfielder Brahi Hemandi will both miss out, while the Catalans lengthy injury list includes long term absentees Samuel Eto’o and Deco, as well as Yaya Toure, Edmilson, Gianluca Zambrotta, and Rafael Marquez. However, Ronaldinho does return for the 2006 European Champions, who despite the injury omissions, still boast a frighteningly potent attack that has thus far banged in seventeen goals in La Liga, good for the most in the league.
Up Next: Well, the game doesn’t start until this afternoon, but the probable lineups are listed here, and you can find a good preview for the match right here.
As the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for the sport in the USA for more than 90 years. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been very simple and very clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.