The first 6 teams have qualified for the Knockout Stage presented by Audi at the MLS is Back in Tournament in Orlando, with the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders adding their names to the list.
Monday will see the final verdicts from Group A: Philadelphia and Orlando will meet to determine which team wins the group (8 pm ET on ESPN, TUDN, TSN) while NYCFC and Inter Miami will be fighting for a win at all costs to stay alive as a potential 3rd-place qualifier (9 am ET on ESPN, TSN).
The top two teams from each of the six groups earn automatic berths to the Round of 16. MLS regular season tiebreaking procedures will be used, if necessary, to determine placement within each group.
Rounding out the field of 16 will be four wild cards: the next four best 3rd-place finishers based on points total. Tiebreakers for these four spots are as follows: (1) goal difference, (2) goals scored and (3) fewest disciplinary points, if necessary.
Round of 16 matchups
· July 25: A1 (PHI/ORL) vs. Wild Card C/D/E
· July 25: A2 (PHI/ORL) vs. C2
· July 26: C1 vs. Wild Card A/B/F
· July 26: D1 vs. Wild Card B/E/F
· July 27: San Jose Earthquakes (B1) vs. Wild Card A/C/D
· July 27: B2 vs. F2 (POR/TBD)
· July 28: E1 (CLB/TBD) vs. D2
· July 28: F1 (POR/TBD) vs. E2 (CLB/TBD)
Qualified to Rd of 16: Philadelphia Union, Orlando City SC
Philadelphia Union (6 pts) and Orlando City (6 pts) have already secured the two automatic berths and they will face each other in their final group match Monday (8 pm ET | ESPN, TUDN in US; TSN in Canada) to determine which team goes through as A1 and A2. Orlando have the slight edge on goal differential, meaning a win or tie would do the trick for them.
NYCFC (3 pts) nicked Inter Miami CF (0 pts) for their first win of 2020. The win gives the Cityzens a shot at one of the four wild card spots reserved for the best 3rd-placed teams, while Miami are the first team officially eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament.
Qualified to Rd of 16: San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders
The San Jose Earthquakes (7 pts) are moving on to the Round of 16 after surprising everyone and clinching the top spot in Group B with a win over the Chicago Fire (3 pts) in their final group stage match.
Seattle Sounders (4 pts) wrapped up group play with a big 3-0 win over Vancouver (0 pts) to secure their spot in the Round of 16. The Sounders, who currently sit in second place, will have to wait for Thursday's group finale to see if they go through as B2 or B3. Based on points and the first tiebreaker (goal differential), Seattle are guaranteed at worst to go through as one of the best third-place teams should they fall to third place (better record than Group A & Group E third-place finishers).
Chicago Fire FC (3 pts) could leap over the Sounders into second place with a win in that Thursday group finale vs. Vancouver (9 am ET). The Whitecaps, however, will still hold out hope that a big win could be enough to get them through as one of the best 3rd-place teams.
Qualified to Rd of 16: --
The New England Revolution (4 pts) missed the chance to secure automatic qualification for the knockout stage after only taking a single point from their clash with D.C. United (2 pts). It means everything is still up for grabs going into the final round of group games.
New England and Toronto FC (4 pts) will face off on Tuesday with the winner knowing they will clinch qualification and top spot (C1) in the group.
D.C. United (2 pts) still has a chance at the automatic C2 berth if they can beat the Montreal Impact and there's a winner in the New England-Toronto match.
Montreal (0 pts) are now out of the running for automatic qualification, but Thierry Henry's side will be desperate for a win to give themselves a chance of making it through as one of the four wild cards.
Qualified to Rd of 16: --
Group D will go down the final round of games after Real Salt Lake (4 pts) and Minnesota United (4 pts) missed their chance to secure an automatic berth in the knockout stage with a goalless draw.
Minnesota will clinch a spot in the last 16 with a draw in their final group game against Colorado Rapids on Wednesday (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deports in US; TSN in Canada).
RSL also need just a point to make sure of an automatic place in the knockout stage when they face Sporting KC earlier on Wednesday (9 am ET | ESPN, ESPN Deports in US; TSN in Canada). Sporting KC (3 pts) will qualify automatically if they beat RSL.
Colorado Rapids (0 pts) cannot now get an automatic berth in the knockout stage but will be looking for a win to give themselves a chance at being one of the four best 3rd-placed teams.
Qualified to Rd of 16: Columbus Crew SC
Pre-tournament group favorites Atlanta United (0 pts) need a win at all costs on Tuesday (8 pm ET) against group leaders Columbus Crew SC (6 pts), who have already booked a ticket to the knockout round.
The New York Red Bulls (3 pts) and FC Cincinnati (3 pts) will do battle the next day to determine which team joins Columbus as one of the two automatic qualifiers in the group (Wed., July 22 @ 8 pm ET).
Qualified to Rd of 16: Portland Timbers
Portland clinched their spot (6 pts) on Saturday night thanks to their 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo (1 pt). The Timbers could finish in either the first or second positions as they face LAFC on Thursday (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada). Houston still have a chance to get to the Knockout Stage if they get a win over the Galaxy on Thursday (8 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in US; TSN in Canada).
LAFC's (4 pts) romp over the LA Galaxy (0 pts) in the latest El Trafico puts them in good position to top the group with a win over the Timbers while the Galaxy will probably need a big win over the Dynamo to have any hope of advancing.
In addition to regular season points in the group stage, there is also a Concacaf Champions League berth and $1.1 million in prize money on the line.