It's a Gold Cup year and that means mid-summer competitive international soccer will be played across the land, including - to no great surprise - in a venue conveniently located for fans in the vicinity of New York City.
CONCACAF has announced the draw for the group stage of this year's tournament, and the game locations for every match of the competition. From this we learn that USMNT will be in Group A, with what looks like a tough draw: Panama (2013 Gold Cup finalist), Haiti, and Honduras (Or French Guiana - which would be a quite wonderful upset, but also seems extremely unlikely). Group B holds Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, and Jamaica. Mexico heads up Group C, joined by Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, and Cuba.
Red Bull Arena misses out on hosting a match this time around, though local fans could head to Foxborough, MA to watch USMNT play Haiti (and/or Honduras - or French Guiana - play Panama) on July 10. The quarterfinal most likely to feature USMNT will be in Baltimore on July 18. And the final will be at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (the third-place playoff will be at Philadelphia Union's PPL Park in Chester).
Those locations are as close as USMNT is likely to come to the backyard of most locally-based RBNY fans.
But there will be Gold Cup soccer in easier reach of those accustomed to making regular visits to Harrison: a pair of quarterfinals at MetLife Stadium on July 19.
It's a double-header which will almost certainly feature Mexico: the winner of Group C vs. the third-placed team in Group A or Group B; the runner-up in Group C vs. the runner-up in Group B. Kick-off times are scheduled for 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
It's possible the games will be packaged as a double-header, allowing fans to use one ticket to see both games.
It should be a well attended event: it's hard to see Mexico failing to win what looks to be the weakest group in the draw; at the very least, a runner-up spot should be comfortably attainable for El Tri (who will want to win this tournament to force a playoff for CONCACAF's Confederations Cup spot with USMNT).
The identity of the other teams is a bit of a toss-up, but there is a chance the second quarterfinal could see a Caribbean clash between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago (or Cuba), or an all-Central American showdown between El Salvador and Guatemala.
But mainly, expect to see Mexico in East Rutherford on July 19, trying to build some momentum in what El Tri is hoping will be a Cup-winning campaign.
For ticket information, visit concacaf.com.