The official schedule for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup is set, which means we know the teams that will be participating in the tournament-opening double-header at Red Bull Arena on July 7.
The draw has put Canada, Costa Rica, and French Guiana into Group A with top-seed Honduras. The Gold Cup will kick off with a Group A double-header: Canada vs French Guiana, followed by Honduras vs Costa Rica.
We’re a long way from knowing what sort of squads each side sends to the tournament, and these are not going to be the most popular matches in the competition - though Honduras and Costa Rica should be a satisfying tussle, especially since Los Ticos are nominally ranked below Los Catrachos for the Gold Cup, but could field a team that might challenge for the title if they wish.
Still, for New York Red Bulls fans hankering for some summer soccer, the matches might be well-timed. By July 7, it could feel like a while since the Arena was last paid a visit: RBNY plays NYCFC in Harrison on June 24, and isn’t scheduled to return to its home ground for MLS play until San Jose visits on July 19. In between, there are US Open Cup dates on June 28 and July 11 - but we simply don’t yet know if RBNY will still be in that competition by the time that competition reaches its Round of 16 or Quarterfinals.
So maybe international soccer will be a good excuse to get some soccer in while waiting for RBNY to return to Red Bull Arena.
Tickets are on sale for the opening day of the 2017 Gold Cup here.