Joel Campbell is finally free. Now, all that stands in the way of his potential debut is a fellow compatriot. Here are the three matches you should be watching this weekend.
Not everyone has time to dedicate their lives to soccer, let alone Costa Rican soccer. You have bills to pay and episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation to catch up with.
So with zero overlap, here is your guide to the best action featuring Costa Rican talent.
Goztepe vs. Fenerbahce
2:45 p.m. (all times Eastern)
beIN Sports Connect, fuboTV
Celso Borges made his Turkish Super Lig debut last Sunday, as Goztepe fell 1-0 to Galatasaray. Borges went the full 90 in defeat. It doesn’t get any easier from here. Goztepe host Fenerbahce in search of their first points of the season.
How manager Bayram Bektas chooses to deploy Borges will be key on Saturday. Goztepe featured in a 4-1-4-1 last weekend, with Alpaslan Ozturk protecting the back line. Borges was pushed further up the field with an emphasis to create, something rarely seen from the Costa Rican.
Facing a potent Fenerbahce attack, Bektas is better served deploying a double pivot on Saturday. He has a true No. 8 in Borges to do so.
Frosinone vs. Bolgna
Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty Joel Campbell is free at last.
In two words: Fuck Arsenal.
The underachieving English club did Campbell no favors the last four years, shipping him across Europe as they delved deeper into irrelevancy. Permanent moves were always on the table for the Costa Rican starlet, but Arsenal refused to bring down their asking price.
They finally caved this summer, sending him to newly promoted Frosinone.
Paperwork stood in the way of Campbell’s Serie A debut last weekend. Frosinone were thumped 4-0 by Atalanta. It’s unknown whether he’ll feature from the start, but the sweetner to this fixture is the possibility of seeing Campbell take on his fellow compatriot, Giancarlo Gonzalez.
New York Red Bulls vs. DC United
Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes
Holy shit, DC United are relevant again.
After dwelling in the basement for an eternity, a five-game unbeaten streak sees the club four points out of the playoffs with four games in hand. Their last defeat came at the hands of the Red Bulls on July 25.
They’ll look for redemption on Sunday.
Ulises Segura has been relegated to the bench since May, but Joseph Mora remains a prominent fixture in defense. The LB started each of the last eight matches, and is in the club’s top five (amongst qualifying candidates) in tackles, interceptions and clearances.
The Red Bulls don’t boast a pervasive threat on the right wing—Michael Murillo is more potent in the attack than Alex Muyl could ever dream to be—potentially creating freedom for Mora down the left side.
Best of the Rest
Girona vs. Real Madrid
Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
You never know what Julen Lopetegui is thinking. Will it be Keylor Navas, or Thibaut Courtois? We all know what the answer should be, but you run the risk of turning this game on and wanting to punch Florentino Perez in the face.
Don’t Forget About Domestic
San Carlos vs. Carmelita
Sunday, 6 p.m.
If MLS isn’t your cup of tea, I strongly recommend giving San Carlos and Carmelita your attention. The past meets the future in this mouthwatering fixture.
Alvaro Saborio—who turns 74 in March—has recaptured his goalscoring form for San Carlos (four goals). There’s even talk of him featuring for La Sele in September.
He better not.
On the other end is Bryan Rojas. Sixteen years Saborio’s junior, Rojas leads the Primera with six goals. His first-half hat-trick propelled Carmelita past UCR last Sunday. They now sit just three points behind Saprissa in the table.
Which matches will you be watching this weekend? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @crcfutbol.