MLS Will Return On July 8 With Tournament At Walt Disney World

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Nicholas Elias Contributor
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Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that the league will resume play July 8 at Walt Disney World.

All 26 teams will play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, per the official announcement.

The “MLS is Back Tournament” will feature 54 matches, currently scheduled to occur between July 8 to Aug. 11. (RELATED: Torii Hunter Says He Was Asked For Angels Tickets After A Cop Held Him At Gunpoint In His Own Home)

The Eastern and Western conferences will apparently be divided into groups and teams will play for placement in their respective groups. The top two teams from each group and the four best third-place finishers will move on to a “knockout” round, according to the announcement. 

Teams are reportedly competing for regular season points in the 2020 league standings, a prize pool of $1.1 million and a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. After the tournament concludes, MLS plans to continue the regular season with a revised schedule in home markets. The league still plans to host the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs after the regular season is concluded.

“The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in the announcement

“We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women,” said Garber. “Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long.”

The MLS tournament will not have fans in attendance but people can watch at home via streaming platforms.

The full schedule of games as well as the network streams will be available during an MLS livestream on Thursday, June 11, at 3:30 p.m. EST.