MLS, Crew lay out plan for return tournament in July

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Countdown to the Big Game on WOWK
February 07 2021 06:00 pm

COLUMBUS, OH (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 24, 2020.

 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 9 a.m., 8 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. 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 on August 11, 2020. Teams could play as few as three games and many as seven 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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