Major League Soccer announced the schedule and broadcast details Wednesday for all 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament at Florida's Walt Disney World.
Atlanta United will open the tournament Saturday, July 11 against New York Red Bulls (8:00 p.m. EST, FOX), followed by FC Cincinnati on Thursday, July 16 (9:00 a.m. EST, ESPN) and Columbus Crew SC on Tuesday, July 21 (8:00 p.m. EST, TUDN).
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 8 p.m. followed by Chicago Fire FC taking on Nashville SC at 10:30 p.m. The 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament will be televised nationally in the U.S. across ESPN, FOX Sports, and the Univision family of networks; in Canada on TSN and TVA Sports networks, as well as globally through the league’s international broadcast partners.
Atlanta United matches
Date Opponent Time (EST) TV
7/11 New York Red Bulls 8:00 p.m. FOX
7/16 FC Cincinnati 9:00 a.m. ESPN
7/21 Columbus Crew SC 8:00 p.m. TUDN
The Group Stage presented 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.
The tournament will continue in the Knockout Stage 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 8 p.m. ET (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.
FOX Sports’ coverage of the MLS is Back Tournament will kick off on the FOX Broadcast Network, as the national over-the-air network will feature Atlanta United taking on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET.
The Univision family of networks will bring fans in-depth coverage of 19 of the 39 total matches in the Group Stage presented by Heineken, including two matches featuring the LA Galaxy and Mexican National Team star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Matches not aired by an English-language network will be streamed live in English on Twitter.
In Canada, TSN will air all 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament in English including in-depth coverage of all Canadian club matches. TVA Sports will bring fans French-language coverage of all Montreal Impact matches throughout the tournament as well as select additional matches. The TSN and TVA Sports schedules will be highlighted by the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC rivalry match in the Group Stage presented by Heineken on July 15 (8 p.m. ET).
A partner since the league’s inaugural season, ESPN networks will televise a combined 28 matches, bring fans in the U.S. both English- and Spanish-language coverage of Major League Soccer’s return to play - from the first meeting of the two Florida clubs to kick off the tournament on July 8, all the way through the MLS is Back Tournament Final on Aug. 11 (8 p.m. ET). All ESPN matches will also be streamed live on the ESPN App.