MLS, Crew lay out plan for return tournament in July

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The MLS Is Back tournament will begin July 8 and be staged at Disney’s Wild World of Sports complex in Orlando.

The winning team in that tournament will earn a bid to next year’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Teams will report to Orlando to begin on-site training as soon as June 24th.

 The tournament will unfold with a World Cup-style format, including 16 straight days of group stage matches and then teams will advance to the knockout stage.

During the group stage, matches will begin at 9am, 8pm and 10:30pm EST to avoid the warmest part of the day in central Florida. Those group stage matches will count toward the regular season MLS standings. MLS says the Championship match will be played August 11. Teams could play as few as 3 games and many as 7 games over the course of the tournament.

 The tournament draw will be conducted Thursday. After the tournament, MLS has plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home stadiums across the league, and the league intends to conduct its traditional playoffs and the MLS Cup championship. The league says it has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan for the tournament.

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