Major League Soccer and Minnesota United have announced the schedule and broadcast details for all 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament. The restart to MLS’ 25th season begins July 8 with a doubleheader on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN and TVA Sports, as Orlando City SC face Inter Miami CF at 7:00 p.m. CT followed by Chicago Fire FC taking on Nashville SC at 9:30 p.m. CT. Minnesota United's tournament begins on July 12 against Sporting Kansas City at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN and SKOR North.
MNUFC Group Stage Schedule:
- July 12 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN & SKOR North)
- July 17 vs. Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN & SKOR North)
- July 22 vs. Colorado Rapids, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN & SKOR North)
The Group Stage presented by Heineken will consist of 16 consecutive days of games with each MLS club playing three matches against teams within their drawn groups. All group stage match results will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings, as well as toward qualification to the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
The tournament will continue in the Knockout Stage presented by Audi with eight Round-of-16 matches, played as doubleheaders on four consecutive evenings (July 25-28), followed by four quarterfinal matches (July 30-Aug 1), two semifinal games (Aug. 5-6) and the MLS is Back Tournament Final on August 11 at 7:00 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN). The tournament champion will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
In addition to the schedule announcement, MLS today confirmed a change to the tournament’s competition structure. The top three teams from Group A, the six-team group, will advance to the Knockout Stage presented by Audi. Those three teams will be joined by the top two teams from the remaining five groups, as well as the next three highest ranked teams from the Group Stage presented by Heineken (the fourth-placed team in Group A is eligible to advance) based on points, goal difference, goals for, fair play points.
ESPN will oversee game production services for MLS broadcast partners throughout the tournament, delivering produced feeds of all matches to FOX Sports, Univision, TSN, TVA Sports and the league’s international broadcast networks. Each broadcast partner will use their own on-air talent to call the games and produce their own graphics packages for use during telecasts. The MLS is Back Tournament on television will feature unique and experimental technology to enhance the production. More details on the production enhancements will be announced prior to the start of the tournament.