In today’s live draw, Major League Soccer set the stage for the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament. The top seeds were previously determined, but today’s draw placed those seeds into groups.
There are three groups in the East (including Nashville SC who have been moved to the Eastern Conference for the remainder of the 2020 season) and three groups in the West. Prior to today’s drawing, we knew that Orlando would be the top seed in Group A, as the host city, and that they would be grouped with Inter Miami CF for an all Florida matchup to kick off the tournament. The other top seeds are Atlanta United, Los Angeles Football Club, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC as the semi-finalists in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. The final top seed was given to Real Salt Lake as the team in the Western Conference with the next highest point total in the 2019 season.
Today’s draw then placed all of the remaining teams into groups for the initial rounds of Group Play. The results are as follows:
Group E: Atlanta United FC, Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew
That draw puts Sporting KC in group play with Midwest regional match ups against Real Salt Lake, Colorado and Minnesota United. SKC will play each of those teams with the points from those games being applied to the regular season points total.
The group draws will feature several exciting match-ups. Group A squares off Orlando and Miami in a battle between Florida teams, Group C has the Canadian clash between Montreal and Vancouver, Group E will have the Hell is Real match between Columbus and Cincinnati and Group F will see LAFC match up with the Galaxy.
The top two teams from each group, as well as the top four third place finishers, will advance to the knockout round of play.
All of the MLS is Back Tournament matches will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Group Stage matches will begin July 8 with the round of 16 taking place July 25-28. The Quarterfinals are to be played July 30-August 1. Semi finals will be played August 5-6 with the tournament championship match to be held August 11.