Major League Soccer was the first men's American professional sports league to make its return during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the MLS Is Back Tournament kicking off July 8 at Walt Disney World.
It's a unique tournament that will set up the eventual MLS regular season, but there's a lot more on the line than just a warmup as the teams fight for a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot.
Below, you can find a detailed walkthrough of the tournament so far -- including the hopes of the local side, the Philadelphia Union, who are on to the semifinals so far.
What does the tournament look like? What are the key dates?
Here's a rundown of the tournament format. All games take place on the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
- First a group stage, then knockout rounds
- The group stage counts toward regular season points
- Tournament winner earns a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot
- The regular season continues after tournament
And here are the key dates remaining. We're currently in the semifinals of the knockout stage after the group stage and the completion of the Round of 16 and quarterfinals.
- August 5-6: Semifinals
- August 11: Final
How do I watch the games?
Games are broadcast on a mixture of ESPN, TSN (Canada), TUDN (en español), FOX, FS1, TVA Sports (en français), and the respective ESPN, TSN, FOX Sports, TUDN, and TVA Sports apps, along with a few games being broadcast on Twitter.
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Can I see the bracket?
Round of 16
Orlando City SC 1, Montreal Impact 0
July 25 - 8 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Union 1, New England Revolution 0
July 25 - 10:30 p.m. ET
NYCFC 3, Toronto FC 1
July 26 - 8:30 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
SKC advances 3-1 on penalty kicks
July 26 - 11 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes 5, Real Salt Lake 2
July 27 - 8:30 p.m. ET
LAFC 4, Seattle Sounders 1
July 27 - 11 p.m. ET
Minnesota United 1, Columbus Crew 1
Minnesota advances 5-3 on penalty kicks
July 28 - 8 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers 1, FC Cincinnati 1
Portland advances 4-2 on penalty kicks
July 28 - 10:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Union 3, Sporting Kansas City 1
July 30 - 8 p.m. ET | ESPN
Orlando City 1, LAFC 1
Orlando City advances 5-4 on penalty kicks
July 31 - 7:30 p.m. ET | FS1
Minnesota United 4, San Jose Earthquakes 1
August 1 - 8 p.m. ET | ESPN2
Portland Timbers 3, NYCFC 1
August 1 - 10:30 p.m. ET | FS1
Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers
August 5 - 8 p.m. ET | FS1
Orlando City vs. Minnesota United
August 6 - 8 p.m. ET| ESPN
Philadelphia/Portland vs. Orlando/Minnesota
August 11 - 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
What's up with the Union?
The Union will face off against the Portland Timbers on Aug. 5. They defeated New England in the Round of 16, and Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals. They defeated Inter Miami and New York City FC in the group stage, and played to a draw against Orlando City SC. Philadephia finished second in Group A as a result, losing the top spot to Orlando based on goal differential.
How did the group stage finish?
Six groups were determined during a draw on June 10. FC Dallas and Nashville SC were forced to drop out due to COVID-19 concerns. Below is the final group stage table. Teams designated with an X advanced to the knockout stage. The top two teams from each group advanced, as well as four wild card teams.
- x-Orlando City SC - 7 pts, 2-0-1, goal differential of 3
- x-Philadelphia Union - 7 pts, 2-0-1, goal differential of 2
- x-New York City FC - 3 pts, 1-2-0
- Inter Miami CF - 0 pts, 0-3-0
- x-San Jose Earthquakes - 7 pts, 2-0-1
- x-Seattle Sounders FC - 4 pts, 1-1-1
- x-Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 3 pts, 1-2-0, goal differential of -2
- Chicago Fire FC - 3 pts, 1-2-0, goal differential of -3
- x-Toronto FC - 5 pts, 1-0-2, goal differential of 1, 6 goals for
- x-New England Revolution - 5 pts, 1-0-2, goal differential of 1, 2 goals for
- x-Montreal Impact - 3 pts, 1-2-0
- D.C. United - 2 pts, 0-1-2
- x-Sporting Kansas City - 6 pts, 2-1-0
- x-Minnesota United FC - 5 pts, 1-0-2
- x-Real Salt Lake - 4 pts, 1-1-1
- Colorado Rapids - 1 pt, 0-2-1
- x-Columbus Crew FC - 9 pts, 3-0-0
- z-FC Cincinnati - 6 pts, 2-1-0
- New York Red Bulls - 3 pts, 1-2-0
- Atlanta United FC - 0 pts, 0-3-0
- x-Portland Timbers - 7 pts, 2-0-1
- x-Los Angeles Football Club - 5 pts, 1-0-2
- Houston Dynamo - 2 pts, 0-1-2
- LA Galaxy - 1 pt, 0-2-1
Who are the best bets to win?
Here are the most recent odds to win the tournament, from DraftKings Sportsbook:
Orlando City SC: +210
Portland Timbers: +240
Philadelphia Union: +250
Minnesota United FC: +270
Are fans allowed at games?
Because of safety protocols and restrictions put in place to keep players safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, fans are not allowed at games.