Major League Soccer is nearly back, with the aptly named MLS is Back Tournament kicking off July 8 and running until the final on Aug. 11. After the league suspended play on March 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the regular season will resume in a tournament format at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort, just outside Orlando (ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company.)
Knockout round schedule
Wednesday, Aug. 5
Semifinal: Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
Thursday, Aug. 6
Semifinal: Orlando City vs. Minnesota United, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Tuesday, Aug. 11
Final: TBC vs. TBC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
The Semifinals are SET!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 2, 2020
Who's winning it all? 🏆 pic.twitter.com/kTghVZnIeb
Thursday, July 30
Quarterfinal: Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sporting Kansas City
Friday, July 31
Quarterfinal: Orlando City SC 1-1 LAFC (Orlando won 5-4 on penalties)
Sunday, July 26
Round of 16: Toronto FC 1-3 New York City FC
Round of 16: Sporting Kansas City 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (SKC won 3-1 on penalties)
Tuesday, July 28
Round of 16: Columbus Crew 1-1 Minnesota United FC (Minnesota won 5-4 on penalties)
Round of 16: Portland Timbers 1-1 FC Cincinnati (Portland won 4-2 on penalties)
Group stage schedule
Wednesday, July 8
Orlando City SC 2-1 Inter Miami CF, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Friday, July 10
Seattle Sounders FC 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Tuesday, July 14
Chicago Fire FC 2-1 Seattle Sounders FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
New York City FC 1-3 Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Philadelphia Union 2-1 Inter Miami CF, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN
Wednesday, July 15
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-4 San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. ET, TUDN
Thursday, July 16
Atlanta United FC 0-1 FC Cincinnati, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact 3-4 Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN/TSN/TVA Sports
Columbus Crew SC 2-0 New York Red Bulls, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
Friday, July 17
D.C. United 1-1 New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Real Salt Lake 0-0 Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Tuesday, July 21
Toronto FC 0-0 New England Revolution, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Atlanta United FC 0-1 Columbus Crew SC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/TUDN
Montreal Impact 1-0 D.C. United, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/TUDN
Wednesday, July 22
Real Salt Lake 0-2 Sporting Kansas City, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
FC Cincinnati 2-0 New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Colorado Rapids 2-2 Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Thursday, July 23
Chicago Fire FC 0-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
LAFC vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
MLS is Back groups
How does MLS is Back work?
All 26 clubs will take part, as the league breaks them up into five groups of four and one group of six. Three teams from Group A, as well as the top two in each of the other groups, will advance to the round of 16. Additionally, the next three highest-ranked teams in the group stage will round out the knockout field (the fourth-placed team in Group A will be eligible to advance).
Update: Following the withdrawal of Dallas and Nashville, 24 teams remain; the top two teams from each group, along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.
In the group stage, the MLS is Back Tournament works just the same as the regular season. Results from each team's three matches will count toward the 2020 standings.
Games in the knockout rounds will not count toward regular-season points totals, but the tournament's winner will earn a place in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. Players also will be eligible for bonuses from a $1.1 million prize pool.
How often will there be testing?
All individuals deemed "essential members" of a team's delegation will be tested both before and after traveling to Orlando. Prior to travel, these tests include two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, 24 hours apart. Players also will undergo a baseline serology (antibody) test as part of a physical exam that includes a temperature check and the completion of a screening questionnaire.
Players, coaches and support staff will be tested every other day for two weeks after arriving in Florida. Those individuals, as well as referees, will then be tested regularly, including prior to each matchday.