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MLS is Back Tournament



NEW YORK, Major League Soccer will today hold a live draw to determine the group assignments for each of the 26 teams in advance of the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex beginning July 8.

 

The Houston Dynamo will learn their group-stage opponents during today’s draw. The tournament schedule, including specific matchup dates and full broadcast details, will be announced at a later date.

 

The draw will be streamed live at 2:30 p.m. CDT on MLSsoccer.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and representatives from each of the six top-seeded teams will participate in the draw to determine the tournament groups.

 

The 26 MLS teams will be drawn into one of six groups. The Eastern Conference will have three groups, one consisting of six teams and two consisting of four teams each. The Western Conference will have three groups, each consisting of four teams.

 

As the host club, Orlando City SC has been placed as the top seed in Group A, which will be the six-team group, In addition, Inter Miami CF will join Orlando in Group A.  As part of Major League Soccer’s decision to restart the season in the state of Florida, the inaugural match between Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF will kick off the tournament.

 

The following three matchups will be set for the six teams drawn in Group A:

 

Seed

Club

Opponents

A1

Orlando City SC

A2

A3

A6

A2

Inter Miami CF

A1

A4

A5

A3

Determined via Draw

A1

A4

A5

A4

Determined via Draw

A2

A3

A6

A5

Determined via Draw

A2

A3

A6

A6

Determined via Draw

A1

A4

A5

 

The five remaining seeds will consist of the four semifinalists from the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs – Atlanta United, Los Angeles Football Club, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC – and Real Salt Lake (the team with the next highest points total in the Western Conference from the 2019 season).  The seeded teams will be drawn into their respective groups first and then the remaining 20 clubs will be drawn and distributed across the conference-based groups.

 

COMPETITION FORMAT

Each team will play three group stage matches, and those results will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings.  After 16 consecutive days of group stage matches, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage. The knockout stage will include a Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the Championship match will take place on August 11. Matches tied at the end of regulation in the knockout phase will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout. Click Here for the MLS is Back Tournament Competition Guidelines.

 

MLS worked with U.S. Soccer, Canada Soccer and Concacaf to institute a one-time change to MLS berths to the annual Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. The MLS is Back Tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, regardless of whether it is a U.S. or Canadian club. The winner would replace the berth previously awarded to the MLS regular season points leader in the conference opposite of the 2020 Supporters’ Shield winner.

 

In addition to matches that count in the regular season standings and the Champions League berth, players will have the opportunity to earn additional bonuses as part of a $1.1 million prize pool.

 

 

KEY DATES

June 11: MLS is Back Tournament Draw (MLSsoccer.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – 3:30 p.m. ET)

June 24: Teams begin arriving in Florida 

July 8: MLS is Back Tournament group stage begins

July 25-28: Round-of-16

July 30- Aug. 1: Quarterfinals

August 5-6: Semifinals

August 11: MLS is Back Tournament Final

 

MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT – July 8 – August 11

Number of Matches:          54 (39 group; 15 knockout)

No. of matchdays:               26

Format:                                Group Stage, followed by Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals &

                                               Championship match

Minimum Matches:            3 (per club)

Maximum Matches:           7 (per club)

 

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