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MLS returns from July 8, tournament format to be played in Florida

Major League Soccer is set to return after an extended three-month break due to the coronavirus outbreak. Two matchdays were already completed in the 2020 regular season before the campaign was suspended in mid-March, but those results won’t be considered for the restart.

The season is set to recommence from July 8 in a tournament-style format in Florida and the 26 Major League Soccer clubs have been split into six groups. Group A alone will have six teams while the remaining five groups will consist of four clubs.

Here is the group stage draw:

Image derived from MLS’ official Twitter account

Nashville have been shifted to the Eastern Conference for the remainder of the season. While Group A has more clubs, they will only play three matches during the group stage, similar to the other teams. Those fixtures have been pre-determined with their positioning during the draw.

The top-two from each group will progress to the knockout phase. Aside from those teams, the four best-ranked third-placed sides will also join them for the round of 16 stage of the tournament, which is scheduled to begin from July 25.

All games are expected to be played behind closed doors at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Bay Lake, Florida. The opening game will see local sides Orlando City and Inter Miami face each other. August 11th has been set as the final date for the ‘MLS is Back Tournament‘.

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