2020 - Jackson Yueill - Team Celebration - Week 1

MLS IS BACK: Everything you need to know about the tournament

Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday the MLS is Back Tournament starting on July 8 in Orlando, Florida. All 26 clubs will be flying to the Sunshine State to not only return to action, but to also compete for the grand prize: a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot. With approval from Santa Clara County last week, the Quakes are now actively training, albeit individually, in preparation for the highly anticipated competition.

With the first match approaching in less than a month, here are the key things to know about the tournament format, recent modifications, dates to circle on the calendar, and more.

Quick Facts

  • July 8 - August 11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida
  • All 26 teams based at Disney World Resort, with team, staff and other personnel to remain in a “bubble” throughout the tournament
  • All matches will be played without fans present due to health and safety protocols
  • Winner earns a 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League spot
  • The tournament draw was streamed on Thursday, June 11 at 12:30 p.m. PT live on SJEarthquakes.com

Group Pairing

Tournament Format

  • World Cup-style format - group stage followed by knockout rounds
  • Six groups; five featuring four teams and one featuring six teams
  • Group-stage matches count towards 2020 regular-season standings
  • Nashville SC will be placed in the Eastern Conference and will remain in the Eastern Conference for the remainder of the 2020 season

Key Dates

  • June 24: Teams can 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

The Championship Prize

  • Winner earns a 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League spot and additional bonuses as part of a $1.1 million prize pool

Health and Safety Protocols

  • All clubs will participate in a pre-tournament testing plan
  • Testing will be performed twice every week
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be performed for in-match prevention throughout the event
  • Protective, hygiene, and social distancing measures will be enforced at all times
  • Specific protocols set in place for any potential COVID-19 cases

Broadcast Coverage

  • All 54 matches will be televised nationally through MLS partners ESPN, FOX Sports 1, and Univision
  • Matches will take place every day during the Group Stage
  • No two matches will be played at the same time
  • Exclusive player access and interactive fan engagement to create a unique viewer experience
  • Full schedule will be released after tournament draw is conducted on Thursday

All clubs will undergo extensive medical protocols developed by league officials and infectious disease experts throughout the competition. Full league details about the MLS is Back Tournament can be found here.



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