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NYCFC to face Red Bulls in 2017 Desert Diamond Cup

The preseason just got a lot more interesting...

MLS: New York Red Bulls at New York City FC Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Back in the dawning moments of the current offseason, it was announced on MLSSoccer.com that 10 MLS teams would be participating in the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup, the sixth installment of an annual preseason tournament hosted by PDL side FC Tucson. Among the 10 teams announced were New York City FC and the Red Bulls.

Almost immediately, there was speculation regarding whether or not the two bitter rivals would face each other in the tournament. Well, that question has been officially answered: the Hudson River Derby will be coming to the Copper State.

According to the club’s most recent update to their official online schedule, New York City and the Red Bulls are scheduled to face each other in the tournament on February 15th at Kino North Stadium.

Yes, the Desert Diamond Cup is a preseason tournament. And like most preseason outings, it will serve as a way for clubs to test new or otherwise obscure talent, as well as to make sure that their projected starters are match fit ahead of the regular season campaign.

But this is the Hudson River Derby.

There’s nothing too friendly about that.

New York City has had a busy, eventful offseason, having bolstered their squad with several young, hungry players who will look to make their mark early in attempt to gain some significant playing time this year. A good showing against their club’s most hated adversary is, by far, the perfect place to start.

It’s also no secret, historically speaking, that the Hudson River Derby has not been kind to the Boys in Blue. NYC currently trails the Bulls 5-to-1 all-time in six meetings, and have been outscored 18 goals to 5. But an early victory over the Jersey Boys may be just what City needs to make serious inroads towards turning MLS’s hottest new rivalry on its head.