MLS to resume season with Fla. tournament starting July 8

The league's 26 teams will be divided into six groups for the opening round of the tournament played without fans at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2020, 7:41 PM

Updated 1,408 days ago

Share:

MLS to resume season with Fla. tournament starting July 8
Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that its season will resume starting July 8 with a tournament in Florida.
The league's 26 teams will be divided into six groups for the opening round of the tournament played without fans at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.
Teams had played just two games to start the season when the league suspended play on March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak.
While in Florida, players will be sequestered in a resort with a rigorous testing protocol. Each team will have three group matches, played over 16 consecutive days with multiple games a day. The group matches will count toward the regular season.
 
Sixteen teams will advance to the knockout round, with the winner earning a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.
"From the very beginning we said anything we do has to ensure that we're going to protect the health and safety of our players, all of the staff that will be accompanying them and those that are going to be working the tournament," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "There will be testing for those who are traveling down to Orlando before they leave and when they arrive. There will be testing regularly during the competition in the training that will precede it. And staff will be tested as well."
The prize pool for the MLS Is Back Tournament is $1.1 million, the league said. The title match will be played on Aug. 11.
Following the tournament, teams will resume the season in their home markets. It was unclear whether those games would be played with fans in the stadiums.
The announcement comes a week after the league and its players reached an agreement on a contract that runs through 2025.
Teams can begin arriving in Florida for training on June 24. Those that have already been training in market must arrive no later than seven days before their first match.
The draw for the group stage was set for Thursday. As hosts, Orlando City will be the top seed in Group A.
"When we first put together the tournament concept at Disney, we just were very uncertain about when we'd be able to return to our stadiums in our own markets," Garber said. "We thought why don't we get them all together, get 26 teams together in one neutral site, play games every day and get our players back on the field for our fans. But very importantly doing it with games of consequence – a total prize pool of a million dollars and the winner getting a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. All of this is our best foot forward to do what we can in an exciting, compelling and meaningful way to return to play for 2020."
 


More from News 12
2:23
Rutgers police: Person charged for shooting people with Orbeez gun

Rutgers police: Person charged for shooting people with Orbeez gun

3:40
Police: Marlboro Township Public Schools, Trenton Board of Ed receive 'unfounded' bomb threats

Police: Marlboro Township Public Schools, Trenton Board of Ed receive 'unfounded' bomb threats

1:59
Dreary end to the week with some rain returning by Friday afternoon

Dreary end to the week with some rain returning by Friday afternoon

0:27
Police: Husband and wife stole jewelry from Bridgewater retirement facility

Police: Husband and wife stole jewelry from Bridgewater retirement facility

0:29
GoFundMe pages created for Paterson families displaced by house fires

GoFundMe pages created for Paterson families displaced by house fires

2:43
‘Now he literally has a part of me.’ Brother donates part of his liver to twin

‘Now he literally has a part of me.’ Brother donates part of his liver to twin

0:16
Police: Man tried to stab UPS driver who refused to give him a ride

Police: Man tried to stab UPS driver who refused to give him a ride

0:41
Jersey Proud: Holi celebration held at Cooper University Hospital in Camden

Jersey Proud: Holi celebration held at Cooper University Hospital in Camden

0:29
Police: North Carolina man killed in crash on Garden State Parkway in Irvington

Police: North Carolina man killed in crash on Garden State Parkway in Irvington

House of Independents announces initial summer lineup following temporary closure due to flooding damage

House of Independents announces initial summer lineup following temporary closure due to flooding damage

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald says Travis Green is part of his search for a new coach

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald says Travis Green is part of his search for a new coach

Atlantic City mayor: I'm committed to my family and city while dealing with daughter abuse charges

Atlantic City mayor: I'm committed to my family and city while dealing with daughter abuse charges

1:55
Bear-resistant trash cans being provided for 6 New Jersey towns

Bear-resistant trash cans being provided for 6 New Jersey towns

7-Eleven, Wawa or QuickCheck? New poll reveals New Jersey’s favorite convenience store

7-Eleven, Wawa or QuickCheck? New poll reveals New Jersey’s favorite convenience store

0:18
Dover police warn residents of men in face coverings knocking on doors

Dover police warn residents of men in face coverings knocking on doors

0:26
‘Stand Your Ground’ bill introduced in New Jersey

‘Stand Your Ground’ bill introduced in New Jersey

0:30
Stepson of former ‘Real Housewives’ star Siggy Flicker arrested in connection on Jan. 6 charges

Stepson of former ‘Real Housewives’ star Siggy Flicker arrested in connection on Jan. 6 charges

0:23
Ford recalls over 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick cars due to loss of drive power risk

Ford recalls over 456,000 Bronco Sport and Maverick cars due to loss of drive power risk

2:47
Capturing the moment at Zimmerli Museum in New Brunswick

Capturing the moment at Zimmerli Museum in New Brunswick

0:51
Save money while helping the planet with these 12 energy-efficient tips

Save money while helping the planet with these 12 energy-efficient tips