The offseason certainly came more quickly than Red Bulls fans would want. But the Red Bulls' next game is in 2014, and while this season will always be remembered for the Supporters' Shield championship, it also marks just the beginning of a new era for the club.
So what are the next steps? Here are some important dates and events to keep in mind when looking toward 2014:
December 13-15, 2013 -- NCAA College Cup -- Chester, PA
One week after the MLS Cup final, college soccer will crown its champion just a few hours away. No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 7 New Mexico meet in Friday's opening game, while No. 5 Maryland and No. 8 Virginia will square off in the nightcap. Several Red Bulls Academy players will compete, including Maryland junior midfielder Dan Metzger (Holmdel (N.J.) High School) and Virginia sophomore defender Scott Thomsen (free kick goal in Round of 16 win vs. Marquette).
December 12, 2013 -- Re-Entry Draft -- Stage 1
Teams have the opportunity to select MLS veterans whose options were not renewed or who may be out of contract, but players selected in this stage will be guaranteed either the salary owed in their 2014 option or a guaranteed percentage of their 2013 salary. The names of players who will be available in this stage are expected to be announced Monday afternoon.
December 19, 2013 -- Re-Entry Draft -- Stage 2
Teams have the opportunity to select the rights to MLS veterans who are out of contract (including players not selected in Stage 1) and begin contract negotiations with them. For more information on the Re-Entry Draft, click here. The Red Bulls did not select any players in the Re-Entry Draft this year.
January 16, 2014 -- MLS SuperDraft -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
With New York's two second round picks, they selected defender Chris Duvall from Wake Forest University (22nd overall) and Eric Stevenson (34th overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Here's the official release with highlights.
** Updated January 22, 2014 **
January 24, 2014 -- Training camp opens
Players will gather in New Jersey by January 24, but camp will quickly move to Orlando, Fla., from January 27-February 7, when they may have the opportunity to scrimmage several opponents, including fellow MLS teams, many of whom will be training in Bradenton, Fla., less than two hours away.
February 17-March 2, 2014 -- Disney Pro Soccer Classic, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
The Red Bulls have confirmed they will be part of the field for the fourth Disney Pro Soccer Classic, an eight-team tournament featuring two groups of four and one placement match. New York will play group games on Feb. 19 (vs. Sporting Kansas City at 3:00 PM), Feb. 22 (vs. Montreal Impact at 6:00 PM), and Feb. 26 (vs. Fluminense FC Under-23s at 3:00 PM) and wrap up the tournament on March 1. More information is available by clicking here.
March 8, 2014 -- MLS Opener -- Red Bulls at Vancouver Whitecaps - 7:30 PM ET
The Red Bulls will open the season on the road with their only scheduled trip of the season to the Pacific Northwest, taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. Road trip?
March 15, 2014 -- Home Opener -- Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids - 4:00 PM ET
The Red Bulls will celebrate their 2013 Supporters' Shield championship prior to their home opener against Colorado, with a 4 p.m. broadcast start on NBC Sports before New York plays its first game of 2014 at Red Bull Arena. You're going to want to be there. Get 2014 season tickets now!
Here's how the Red Bulls' 2014 schedule breaks down:
MLS regular season -- 34 games (25 games vs. Eastern Conference, 9 games vs. Western Conference)
2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League -- 4 games (2 home, 2 away) in August, September, October 2014 -- New York's games will take place in four of the following six windows: Aug. 5-7, Aug. 19-21, Aug. 26-28, Sept. 16-18, Sept. 23-25, Oct. 21-23.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup -- The Red Bulls are expected to enter the single-elimination tournament in the third round, along with the other 15 U.S.-based MLS teams. The tournament's third and fourth rounds (the Red Bulls' first and second games) are expected to be held during the league's break for the World Cup group stage. The quarterfinals are in July, semifinals in August, and the final on either September 30 or October 1.