FINALLY. The New York Red Bulls - whose off-season activities to date have largely comprised cutting contracts, losing respected members of the coaching and executive staff, and making the occasional canny deal that doesn't quite compensate for all the losses - have announced something substantive and positive: a preseason schedule. Ish.
The short statement on the club's website lists "key dates" in the build-up to March 8, RBNY's opening game of the 2015 MLS regular season.
Those key dates include the day MLS will announce the full regular season schedule (January 7), the dates of the MLS combine (January 9-13), and the date of the MLS SuperDraft (January 15). We get it RBNY: you're doing things, even when there aren't any press releases or shiny new players for us to review.
Next comes the good stuff: the stuff that tells us the schedule RBNY intends to follow as it plots a path to form and fitness for opening day.
The team will head to Orlando on January 26 for a training camp that will end on February 6.
Warm-weather training with, no doubt, a cluster of draft picks and trialists. Promising start.
From February 7 to February 16, the team will be be enjoying a "nine-day respite and training at the Red Bulls facilities", which sounds as though it means checking back in with family and friends at home and keeping fitness levels up while the coaches mull over who to cut and who to keep for the next training camp.
That next training camp will be in Bradenton, and runs from February 16 to March 1.
The team will then return home (one assumes), before heading out to Kansas City for its opening-day road game against Sporting KC.
It is a plan. Not a great one - it lacks, for example, any detail of any planned friendlies; which rather worryingly suggests the club is still shopping around for preseason opposition - but it is better than the nothing we had until now.
Scheduling a few games is the least of the team's worries, and we can safely say that any such games will occur in Florida - either in Orlando between 1/26 and 2/6, or in Bradenton between 2/16 and 3/1 (hopefully, in both places).
Cross one question off the list marked "What the hell are you doing, RBNY?". There will be a preseason, and it will be mostly in Florida.