Everything you need to know about the MLS restart, including teams involved, when games are played and how to watch
Major League Soccer will resume in July in an innovative fashion, opting for a unique tournament approach in order to continue the 2020 season.
Having suspended games in March, soccer in North America will be back in an exciting form with 54 matches set to be played across one month in Florida.
Goal brings you everything you need to know about the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament.
- What is the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament?
- When does the MLS is Back tournament start?
- What is the MLS is Back tournament schedule?
- Where will the MLS is Back tournament take place?
- How can I watch & stream the MLS is Back tournament?
What is the MLS is Back tournament?
The MLS is Back tournament is a condensed approach to continuing the 2020 regular season.
All 26 MLS teams will compete in the tournament, which will be divided into three Eastern Conference groups and three Western Conference groups.
The top two teams from each of the six groups as well as the four best third-placed teams will progress to the last 16.
Group matches go towards the regular season standings and winner of the MLS is Back tournament will earn a place in the Concacaf Champions League, as well as a share of a $1.1 million (£880k) prize fund.
Once the tournament is over, MLS plans to continue the regular season “with a revised schedule in home markets” and complete the MLS Cup playoffs and final.
The groups for the MLS is Back tournament have been drawn as follows:
When does the MLS is Back tournament start?
The MLS is Back tournament begins on July 8 and it will conclude just over a month later with the final, which will be played on August 11.
What is the MLS is Back tournament schedule?
|Group stage||July 8 – 23|
|Round of 16||July 25 – 28|
|Quarter-finals||July 30 / August 1|
|Semi-finals||August 5 / 6|
The group stage will begin on July 8 and run until July 23 with the round of 16 kicking off soon afterwards on July 25, running until July 28.
The quarter-final matches will be played on July 30 / August 1, while the semi-finals are scheduled for August 5 / 6. The final will take place on August 11.
Where will the MLS is Back tournament take place?
All MLS is Back tournament games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Wide World of Sports complex boasts a number of multi-use sports venues, including the Marathon Sports Fields, which hosted Orlando City (then a USL Pro team) in 2014
How can I watch or stream the MLS is Back tournament?
ESPN, Univision, TUDN and UniMas hold the rights to broadcast MLS games in the United States (U.S.).
In the United Kingdom (UK), MLS games can be watched live on Sky Sports and Premier Sports.
According to MLS, broadcasts will feature “unique and experimental technologies” including “advanced audio and fan integration elements” to allow the supporters to engage with games despite public health-enforced limitations.