MLS is Back Tournament - Knockout Stage - special

MLS is Back Tournament: Teams that have qualified to the Knockout Stage

All 16 qualifiers for the Knockout Stage presented by Audi at the MLS is Back in Tournament in Orlando have now been decided, wuth eight tantalizing matchups set to begin Saturday.

The top two teams from each of the six groups earned automatic berths to the Round of 16, with the four best third-placed teams advancing as wild cards.

Round of 16 matchups

In addition to regular season points in the group stage, there is also a Concacaf Champions League berth and $1.1 million in prize money on the line.


Group A

Qualified to Rd of 16: Orlando City SC (A1), Philadelphia Union (A2), NYCFC (3)

After their 1-1 draw in the Group A finale, Orlando City and Philadelphia finished tied on 7 points, but the Lions finished on top thanks to better goal differential.

NYCFC (3 pts) nicked Inter Miami CF (0 pts) for their first win of 2020 and third place in the group. The win proved enough for the Cityzens to earn one of the four wild card spots reserved for the best third-placed teams following the result between Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy on Thursday.


Group B

Qualified to Rd of 16: San Jose Earthquakes (B1), Seattle Sounders (B2), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (B3)

The San Jose Earthquakes (7 pts) moved on to the Round of 16 after surprising everyone and clinching the top spot in Group B with a win over the Chicago Fire (3 pts) in their final group stage match.

Seattle Sounders (4 pts) wrapped up group play with a big 3-0 win over Vancouver (0 pts) to secure their spot in the Round of 16. The Sounders, who currently sit in second place, will have to wait for Thursday's group finale to see if they go through as B2 or B3.

Chicago Fire FC (3 pts) still had a chance to advance to the Knockout Stage with a win, draw or one goal loss against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The score was 0-0 before the match went into a weather delay in the 63rd minute. Coming out of it, the 'Caps scored two quick goals and the Fire were unable to get one of their one. The result put Vancouver through to the next round, shocking the Fire, and leaving Seattle as the second place team in Group B.


Group C

Qualified to Rd of 16: Toronto FC (B1), New England Revolution (B2), Montreal Impact (B3)

The New England Revolution (5 pts) and Toronto FC (5 pts) both advanced after the scoreless draw in their final group match, with Toronto taking top spot and New England going through in second. 

A 1-0 victory for the Montreal Impact over D.C. United on Tuesday, combined with FC Cincinnati's win over New York Red Bulls the following day, means that Thierry Henry's side progress as one of the four best third-placed teams. D.C. United were eliminated with the defeat after finishing bottom of the group.


Group D

Qualified to Rd of 16: Sporting Kansas City (D1), Minnesota United (D2), Real Salt Lake (D3)

Minnesota United (5 pts) had to settle for second place in Group D after a 2-2 draw against already-eliminated Colorado Rapids (1 pt) on Wednesday night.

Sporting Kansas City (6 pts) earned their place in the Round of 16 and top spot in the group with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in their group finale earlier in the day. Real Salt Lake (4 pts) are guaranteed to advance to the Knockout Stage as one of the four best third-placed teams.


Group E

Qualified to Rd of 16: Columbus Crew SC (E1), FC Cincinnati (E2)

FC Cincinnati (6 pts) grabbed the second automatic spot in Group E after beating the New York Red Bulls  2-0 on Wednesday night. The margin of defeat also spelled doom for the Red Bulls (3 pts), meaning that they cannot finish as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Columbus Crew SC (9 pts) sealed top spot in the group with a win over Atlanta United (0 pts) to eliminate the 2018 MLS Cup Champs from the tournament.


Group F

Qualified to Rd of 16: Portland Timbers (F1), LAFC (F2)

Portland Timbers & LAFC: Both teams had already qualified before they met in the final game of the group stage on Thursday. A late equalier for Portland (7 pts) meant they topped the group whiel LAFC (5 pts) were forced to settle for second.   Portland (6 pts) could finish as F1 or F2 as they face LAFC (4 pts) on Thursday (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada). A tie would be enough for Portland to confirm the top spot (F1), while an LAFC win would see the Timbers replaced at the top by the Black-and Gold.

Houston Dynamo & LA Galaxy: Houston (2 pts) missed out on the Knockout Stage in heartbreaking fashion thanks to Cristian Pavon's late equalizer from the penalty spot for LA Galaxy (1 pt) on Thursday. The result was not enough for either side to progress.

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