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MLS is Back: The Colorado Rapids and the rest of MLS take the pitch

54 matches, 26 teams, 6 groups, 1 champion

MLS: Orlando City SC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer is back with a tournament appropriately called the MLS is Back Tournament. Taking place in Orlando in a FIFA World Cup format (group stage, Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Championship), fans will see 54 matches, 26 teams, 6 groups, with 1 champion.

The tournament lasts from July 8 through August 11, with 54 matches consisting of 39 group stage matches and 15 knockout round matches). The teams arrive in Florida June 24.

The Group Stage will have all 26 teams split into six groups, with the Eastern and Western Conference having three groups. In the East, however, one group will have six teams and two have four teams; the West will have three groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the Round of 16—the knockout stage.

For me, this is the most exciting part: each team will play three group stage matches over the course of 16 consecutive days.

The draw for the tournament takes place tomorrow (June 11) at 1:30 pm MT. Nashville SC will be in the East for the 2020 season. Since Orlando City is the “host” team, they will be the top seed in the six-team group.

Interestingly enough...

The 39 group-stage games will count for points toward the 2020 regular-season standings.

The winner earns a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Clubs can make up to five substitutions per match.

Matchday rosters can include 23 players.

Once the tournament is completed, MLS plans to resume the regular season with a revised schedule in home markets, then playoffs, then the MLS Cup.

For more information, go here .

My thoughts:

  1. All of us should be grateful that soccer is back. #MLSisBack
  2. This could serve as the most compelling of all of MLS’ seasons with this tournament format. With 16 straight days of games, this will prove to be an exciting season. #16days
  3. The hope of the season continuing gives Rapids supporters hope—the Rapids have a good team that will surprise. #UpfortheCup

What are some takeaways that catch you?