MLS to resume play July 8 with 26-team tournament in Florida

Main League Soccer will return to motion July Eight with a World Cup-style match that may run by Aug. 11 within the Orlando space.

All 26 groups will participate within the “MLS is Again Event” on the ESPN Broad World of Sports activities Complicated at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The NBA can also be seeking to resume play on the Disney advanced.

The 54-match MLS match, which will probably be performed earlier than empty stands, marks a resumption to the league’s 25th season, which was halted March 12 after two rounds because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once we first put collectively the match idea at Disney World, we simply had been very unsure about when we would be able to return to our stadiums in our house market and thought ‘Why do not we get all of them collectively, get our groups, 26 groups collectively in a single impartial web site, play video games every single day, get our gamers again on the sector for our followers,”‘ commissioner Don Garber mentioned in a recorded video.

“However very importantly doing it with video games of consequence, so a complete prize pool of (US)$1 million … All of that is our greatest foot ahead to do what we are able to in an thrilling, compelling and significant strategy to return to play for 2020.”

Garber mentioned Disney has the infrastructure to host the almost 2,000 gamers and workers anticipated on the match.

The hope is the league, as soon as the Florida match is accomplished, can proceed the common season with a revised schedule in house markets. The league says particulars of the brand new schedule will come later, as will whether or not groups will play golf equipment from the opposite convention.

The July Eight match begin primarily comes across the halfway level of the unique schedule. Toronto FC, for instance, would have performed 17 of its 34 regular-season video games underneath their unique schedule by then whereas the quantity would have been 15 for Vancouver and 14 for Montreal.

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Gamers and group officers will probably be examined recurrently for COVID-19 underneath a plan developed by the league’s medical division and infectious illness specialists. Anybody who exams constructive will probably be “faraway from the match” and anybody who had contact with them will probably be examined “very very recurrently,” in keeping with Garber.

Group stage matches within the Florida competitors will depend within the regular-season standings and the match winner, regardless whether or not it’s an American or Canadian membership, will earn a spot within the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.

The winner will take the Champions League spot normally awarded to the MLS regular-season factors chief within the convention reverse of the 2020 Supporters’ Protect winner.

Golf equipment will start arriving in Orlando as early as June 24 for “pre-season coaching.”

Groups will play three group stage matches throughout 16 days. The highest two in every of the six teams together with the 4 finest third-place finishers will then transfer on to the knockout stage: spherical of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and last.

Video games will start at 9 a.m., Eight p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET with most going down within the night, the league mentioned.

A draw to find out the match teams will probably be held Thursday.

Orlando Metropolis SC, as host membership, would be the high seed in Group A, which is able to characteristic six groups and open play July 8.

The opposite 5 seeds are the 4 semifinalists from the 2019 playoffs — Toronto FC, Atlanta United, Los Angeles FC and the Seattle Sounders — plus Actual Salt Lake, the group with the following highest factors whole within the Western Convention from the 2019 season.

The draw will assign the remaining non-seeded 20 golf equipment to teams, relying on convention.

The Jap Convention, which is able to turn into house to Nashville SC for the rest of the 2020 season, can have three teams — one consisting of six groups and two consisting of 4 groups every. The Western Convention can have three teams, every consisting of 4 groups.

The match will permit groups 5 substitutions a recreation and have video overview. Groups will have the ability to gown 24 gamers for matches.

Matches tied on the finish of regulation time within the knockout part will go straight to a penalty shootout.

Key Dates

  • June 24: Groups start arriving in Florida.
  • July 8: “MLS is Again Event” group stage begins.
  • July 25-28: Spherical-of-16.
  • July 30- Aug. 1: Quarterfinals.
  • Aug. 5-6: Semifinals.
  • Aug. 11: “MLS is Again Event” last.

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