New York Red Bulls vs. Antigua GFC | 2016-17 CCL Match Preview
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. ANTIGUA GFC
RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
August 3, 2016 (CONCACAF Champions League)
8 pm ET (Facebook.com | UDN - tape delay)
Will the third time be the charm for the New York Red Bulls? Twice before, they have qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League -- and both times, most recently in the 2014-15 tournament, they failed to reach the knockout round, with only one victory in six CCL matches. Now, after winning the 2015 Supporters Shield, the Red Bulls look to get off to a good start in this year's group stage when they host Guatamalan side Antigua GFC on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena.
First time for several things
This will be the first Guatemalan opponent in CCL play for the Red Bulls, who are 1-0-1 against Central American opposition in the tournament. Their only victory in the modern-format CCL came in a 2-0 victory over Salvadoran side CD FAS in the 2014-15 group stage. Antigua -- nicknamed Los Panzas Verdes ("Green Bellies") for their kit color and in honor of the local avocado industry -- are making their first appearance in the tournament, after winning the 2015 Apertura in Guatemala's top flight.
Back in the USA
Antigua forward Brian Ramirez is no stranger to playing in America, having starred for Messiah College in Harrisburg, Pa., from 2011-14. He helped the Falcons win NCAA Division III titles in 2012 and 2013, then began his professional career in Sweden before returning to his native Guatemala.
Hey, that name sounds familiar
Fabian Castillo is on the Antigua roster. Yes, he's a forward from South America. No, it's not the FC Dallas star whose future is currently unclear. This Fabian Castillo is 28, from Argentina, and joined the Guatemalan side this summer from third-division Argentinean club Deportivo Patria.