Some of Major League Soccer's biggest stars, including the LA Galaxy's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Orlando City's Nani, are joining up with their eMLS counterparts for a five-week, nationally-televised FIFA 20 tournament, debuting on Sunday, April 19 at 7 pm ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
The eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola and PlayStation, a part of MLS Unites — a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic — will feature four MLS teams per weekend over four weekends, followed by a final round on May 17 featuring each weekend's champions.
“The eMLS Tournament Special represents the spirit of MLS Unites by entertaining fans and giving back to our communities,” Camilo Durana, MLS senior vice president of properties and events, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled many of the league’s top players are joining our eMLS participants to compete and also provide benefit for those on the front lines. We are also thankful to FOX Sports and all of our partners for their collaboration on the innovative series that will be both fun to watch and make a difference.”
The participating MLS teams will be represented by one of their players, as well as their eMLS pro, in a single-elimination tournament. Each episode will take place on an entirely remote basis with participants competing from their home. Matches will be two legs, with the MLS players playing the first leg and the eMLS players competing against each other in the second leg. The team with the best aggregate score will move on.
In Week 1, the Chicago Fire, represented by Francisco Calvo and pro gamer BITW7 (Enrique Espinoza), face FC Cincinnati, featuring Kendall Waston and back-to-back eMLS League Series champion Fiddle (Gordon Thornsberry). Then, the digital version of ‘El Trafico’ between LA Galaxy and LAFC takes the stage, with Chicharito and 2019 eMLS Cup runner-up Godfather (Giuseppe Guastella) facing Adama Diomande and pro gamer RemiMartinn (Martin Oregel).
The series will be hosted by FOX Sports' Stu Holden, Rachel Bonnetta and Rodolfo Landeros, with color commentary from former New York Red Bulls eMLS representative Mike LaBelle.
After each episode, MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and FOX Sports will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America, with MLS also supporting Food Banks Canada.
Check out the full bracket, including all participating teams and players, below: