MLS Tournament Format Announced

Major League Soccer has finally revealed details on their one month tournament to compensate for the loss of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. The event will take place between July 8th and August 11th with all 26 teams competing in a World Cup style tournament.

The tournament will feature a group stage, which all 26 teams will be divided into in a draw starting tomorrow. After that they will play one game against their opponents before progressing to the knockout stage. The winner of the tournament will gain entry into the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. As mentioned in the past, the tournament will take place on Orlando, Florida at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

While much of this is old news, the one bit of news that is surprising is that the 2020 season will continue once the tournament has ended. Little information has been given on how that will be but it can be assumed that a protracted season will follow and a continuation of the MLS Cup Playoffs will follow.

Many of the teams will have a slight advantage having already participated in closer training sessions while other teams are still adhering to strict guidelines. Teams like the New York Red Bulls and NYCFC have been a few steps behind but have worked hard to keep players fit during the pandemic.

More than likely, the tournament indicates that there will be no US Open Cup in 2020. Rewarding the winner with a Champions League spot does fill out the spot but denies USL teams at a chance of entry. The league has been looking for their own entry point into the continental competition and could receive that should the governing body see fit.

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