Everything you need to know about the MLS restart, including teams involved, when games are played and how to watch
Major League Soccer resumed 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 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 were set compete in the tournament, but FC Dallas and Nashville withdrew after a number of their players tested positive for coronavirus.
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 were as follows:
When does the MLS is Back tournament start?
The MLS is Back tournament began 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 began on July 8 and runs 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.
MLS is Back tournament group-stage fixtures
|Date||Match||Kick-off time (US ET)||TV Channel|
|July 8||Orlando City 2-1 Inter Miami||8pm||ESPN|
|July 8||Chicago Fire 2-1 Seattle Sounders||9am||ESPN|
|July 9||New York City 0-1 Philadelphia Union||9am||ESPN|
|July 9||Montreal Impact 0-1 New England Revolution||8pm||TUDN|
|July 10||Seattle Sounders 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes||10:30pm||ESPN|
|July 11||Atlanta United 0-1 New York Red Bulls||8pm||FOX / TUDN|
|July 11||FC Cincinnati 0-4 Columbus Crew||10:30pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 12||Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Minnesota United||8pm||ESPN|
|July 12||Real Salt Lake 2-0 Colorado Rapids||10:30pm||ESPN|
|July 13||Toronto 2-2 DC United||9am||ESPN|
|July 13||Los Angeles FC 3-3 Houston Dynamo||8pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 13||LA Galaxy 1-2 Portland Timbers||10:30pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 14||Philadelphia Union 2-1 Inter Miami||10:30pm||TUDN|
|July 14||Orlando City 3-1 New York City||10:30pm||TUDN|
|July 15||Vancouver Whitecaps 3-4 San Jose Earthquakes||9pm||TUDN|
|July 16||Montreal Impact 3-4 Toronto||8pm||TUDN|
|July 16||Atlanta United 0-1 FC Cincinnati||9am||ESPN|
|July 16||Columbus Crew 2-0 New York Red Bulls||10:30pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 17||DC United 1-1 New England Revolution||8pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 17||Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Colorado Rapids||8pm||ESPN|
|July 17||Real Salt Lake 0-0 Minnesota United||10:30pm||ESPN|
|July 18||Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo||8pm||ESPN 2|
|July 18||Los Angeles FC 6-2 LA Galaxy||10:30pm||ESPN|
|July 19||Chicago Fire 0-2 San Jose Earthquakes||8pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 19||Seattle Sounders 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps||10:30pm||TUDN|
|July 20||Inter Miami 0-1 New York City||9am||ESPN|
|July 20||Philadelphia Union 1-1 Orlando City||8pm||ESPN / TUDN|
|July 21||Toronto 0-0 New England Revolution||9am||ESPN Deportes|
|July 21||Atlanta United 0-1 Columbus Crew||8pm||ESPN 2 / TUDN|
|July 21||Montreal Impact 1-0 DC United||10:30pm||ESPN 2 / TUDN|
|July 22||Real Salt Lake 0-2 Sporting Kansas City||9am||ESPN|
|July 22||Cincinnati 2-0 New York Red Bulls||8pm||ESPN|
|July 22||Colorado Rapids 2-2 Minnesota United||10:30pm||ESPN|
|July 23||Chicago Fire 0-2 Vancouver Whitecaps||9am||ESPN|
|July 23||LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo||8pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 23||Los Angeles FC 2-2 Portland Timbers||10:30pm||ESPN 2|
MLS is Back tournament knock-out stage fixtures
Orlando City and Philadelphia Union topped Group A, with San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders progressing as the top two in Group B. Toronto and New England qualified from Group C, Sporting Kansas City and Minnesote United advanced from Group D, with Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati getting out of Group E. Portland Timbers and Los Angeles FC topped Group F.
The best-placed third-place teams to advance to the knockout stage were: Real Salt Lake, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and New York City.
You can see the fixture dates below.
|Date||Match||Kick-off time (US ET)||TV Channel|
|July 25||Orlando City 1-0 Montreal Impact||8pm||ESPN 2 / ESPN Deportes|
|July 25||Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution||10:30pm||ESPN 2 / ESPN Deportes|
|July 26||Toronto 1-3 New York City||8:30pm||FS1|
|July 26||Sporting Kansas City 0-0 (3-1P) Vancouver Whitecaps||11pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 27||San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 Real Salt Lake||8:30pm||FS1 / FOX Deportes|
|July 27||Seattle Sounders 1-4 Los Angeles FC||11pm||FS1 / TUDN|
|July 28||Columbus Crew 1-1 (3-5P) Minnesota United||8pm||ESPN / ESPN Deportes|
|July 28||Portland Timbers 1-1 (4-2P) FC Cincinnati||10:30pm||ESPN / ESPN Deportes|
|July 30||Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sporting Kansas City||8pm||ESPN / ESPN Deportes|
|July 31||Orlando City 1-1 (5-4P) Los Angeles FC||8:30pm||FS1 / TUDN / FOX Deportes|
|August 1||San Jose Earthquakes 1-4 Minnesota United||8pm||ESPN 2 / ESPN Deportes|
|August 1||New York City 1-3 Portland Timbers||10:30pm||FS1 / TUDN / FOX Deportes|
|August 5||Philadelphia Union vs Portland Timbers||8pm||FS1 / TUDN / FOX Deportes|
|August 6||Orlando City vs Minnesota United||8pm||ESPN 2 / ESPN Deportes|
|August 11||Philadelphia Union / Portland Timbers vs Orlando City / Minnesota United||8:30pm||ESPN / ESPN Deportes|
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 or FreeSports.
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.