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This Week at the MLS is Back Tournament: Team Arrivals, Media Availabilities and Schedule Unveiled

This Week at the MLS is Back Tournament:
Team Arrivals, Media Availabilities and Schedule Unveiled
 
What You Need to Know:
  • Teams arrive for MLS is Back Tournament prep: Arrival Assets Available Now – Video Conference Availability with Players Friday
  • Competition format update: Top three teams from Group A will advance to the Knockout Stage presented by Audi
  • All tournament matches to air across U.S. National Networks -- ESPN, FOX Sports & Univision’s UniMás and TUDN Networks and Canadian Networks -- TSN and TVA Sports
  • MLS is Back Tournament Final to air on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN on August 11
 
Teams Arrive for MLS is Back Tournament – Photo and Footage Assets Now Available
With just two weeks until the restart of Major League Soccer’s 25th Season, MLS clubs have begun arrivals in preparation for the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
 
Four Major League Soccer clubs will arrive this week -- including the San Jose Earthquakes (CLICK HERE for arrival photos and broll), Orlando City SC (arriving today, June 25), FC Dallas (June 27) and New York City FC (June 27) -- to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, located 3.5 miles from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, for preparations in advance of the tournament.
 
Footage and Photos from each team’s arrival and training sessions will be available through the MLS is Back Tournament Media Resources site
 
Media Availability with San Jose Earthquakes Friday
Following the team’s first training sessions in Orlando, San Jose Earthquakes defenders Oswaldo Alanis and Tommy Thompson will conduct a virtual media availability on Friday.
 
WHO:
Oswaldo Alanis, San Jose Earthquakes Defender
Tommy Thompson, San Jose Earthquakes Defender
* Note: Both players are bilingual (English and Spanish) 
 
WHAT:
Video Conference Media Availability to discuss travel, arrival, and training in preparation for the MLS is Back Tournament
 
WHEN: 
Tomorrow, Friday, June 26
 
HOW:
Please reach out to Christa Mann (christa.mann@mlssoccer.com) for details
  
 
Competition Format Update:
Top 3 teams from Group A will advance to the Knockout Stage presented by Audi
CLICK HERE for the MLS is Back Tournament Competition Guidelines.
 
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.
 
MLS is Back Tournament Schedule In Focus
CLICK HERE for the complete MLS is Back Tournament Broadcast Schedule.
 
Major League Soccer yesterday unveiled the schedule and broadcast details for all 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament. The 54 matches of the MLS is Back Tournament will be televised nationally in the U.S. across ESPN, FOX Sports, and Univision’s UniMás and TUDN networks; in Canada on TSN and TVA Sports networks, as well as globally through the league’s international broadcast partners.
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. EDT followed by Chicago Fire FC taking on Nashville SC at 10:30 p.m. ET. 
 
The Group Stage presented by Heineken 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 presented by Audi.
 
The tournament will continue in the Knockout Stage presented by Audi 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. 
 
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 network will feature Atlanta United taking on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET. 
 
Univision’s UniMás and TUDN 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. All 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 matches will also be streamed live on network digital platforms including: the ESPN App, FOX Sports App, TSN App, TUDN App, and TVA Sports direct.
 
MLS is Back Tournament Schedule Quick Facts
 
16 Consecutive Match Dates: The Group Stage presented by Heineken will consist of 16 days of consecutive match dates followed by the Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
 
Rest & Recovery: All clubs will have at least four full days between matches.
 
Soccer Mornings: Seven matches will take place at 9 a.m. ET, all of which will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes in the U.S. and on TSN in Canada. Clubs will participate in no more than one morning match during the tournament. The first morning match is July 9 when New York City FC take on Philadelphia Union.
 
FOX Broadcast Network to Showcase Atlanta United vs. Red Bulls: On July 11, Atlanta United will return to action against the New York Red Bulls live on the FOX Broadcast Network, TUDN, and TSN.  The match will be followed by the Hell is Real rivalry match at 10:30 p.m. ET on FS1, TUDN and TSN.
 
Reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC Return to Action: The reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC return to action looking to defend their title on July 10 against MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, Chris Wondolowski, and the San Jose Earthquakes (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN, 10:30 p.m. ET)
 
El Trafico in Orlando: The El Trafico rivalry match between Los Angeles Football Club and the LA Galaxy will take place on July 18 (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN, 10:30 p.m. ET) as each club’s second match in the Group Stage presented by Heineken.
 
Hell is Real Rivalry Match on July 11: FC Cincinnati will face Columbus Crew SC on July 11 at 10:30 p.m. ET live on FS1, TUDN and TSN.
 
Canadian Rivals Face-off on July 15:  Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry will get his first taste of the heated Canadian rivalry versus Toronto FC on July 15 (8 p.m. ET), live on TSN and TVA Sports in Canada and TUDN in the U.S.
 
Group Stage presented by Heineken Grand Finale: Group play closes out on July 23 as the Houston Dynamo take on Chicharito and the LA Galaxy on FS1, TUDN and TSN (8 p.m. ET) followed by LAFC facing the Portland Timbers on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in the U.S., TSN in Canada (10:30 p.m. ET).
 
TSN to Air Them All: TSN will be airing all 54 games of the MLS is Back Tournament in Canada.
 
MLS Media Resources:  For more information about how to cover the MLS is Back Tournament, please visit the MLS Media Resources site.
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