Major League Soccer confirmed on Wednesday all group stage matches, as well as broadcast schedules, for the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament. Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to open tournament play against FC Dallas on July 9, San Jose Earthquakes on July 15, and wrap-up group play against Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC on July 20.
All three ’Caps matches are set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. PT / 10:30 p.m. local and will be live on TSN and TSN 1040.
Group B Schedule
- Thursday, July 9 Whitecaps FC versus FC Dallas
- Wednesday, July 15 Whitecaps FC versus San Jose Earthquakes
- Monday, July 20 Whitecaps FC versus Seattle Sounders FC
“We feel it’s a very balanced group,” said Marc Dos Santos, Whitecaps FC head coach. “The first match has a lot of importance to set the tone to qualify to the knockout stage, but we also understand that each game in the group phase counts in the regular season standings. I like that we have four to five days between games, which will allow for good recovery and preparation. Everyone is in a good frame of mind as we continue to train in Vancouver. We have already played one intra-squad match at a very high level, and will play one more before we depart for Florida next week.”
The Group Stage presented by Heineken will be played over 16 consecutive days, and all clubs will have at least four full days between matches.
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. In the U.S. matches will be broadcast across ESPN, FOX Sports, and the Univision family of networks, and globally through the league’s international broadcast partners.
In addition to the schedule announcement, 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.
Whitecaps FC voluntary individual training sessions started back on May 12, small group training sessions on June 4 and full team training since June 15. Prior to the leaving Vancouver, Whitecaps FC will have played two intra-squad matches, last Saturday, June 20 and this Friday, June 26.
The team will arrive in Florida on July 1 and the first session at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort on July 2. The club is planning a third intra-squad match on July 3. The three group stage matches, played over 12 days, will count in the MLS regular season standings and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
Throughout the tournament, ’Caps fans will be able to follow the team through Extra Time presented by Bell
, a video series that will provide exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the team. Through a combination of short documentary style video features and raw footage from Florida including an inside look at team travel, meetings, training sessions, matches and more, Extra Time presented by Bell will offer fans unique access to the players’ experiences as the ‘Caps return to play and compete in the first competition since the COVID-19 suspension.
Each team will play three group stage matches, and those results will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings. After 16 consecutive days of group stage matches, the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage. The knockout stage will include a Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the Championship match will take place on August 11. Matches tied at the end of regulation in the knockout phase will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout. Click Here
for the MLS is Back Tournament
June 20: Whitecaps FC intra-squad match #1
June 24: Teams begin arriving in Florida
June 26: Whitecaps FC intra-squad match #2
July 1: Whitecaps FC arrive in Florida
July 3: Whitecaps FC intra-squad match #3
July 8: MLS is Back Tournament Group Stage begins
July 9: Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas
July 15: Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
July 20: Whitecaps FC vs Seattle Sounders FC
July 25 to 28: Round-of-16
July 30 to August 1: Quarterfinals
August 5 to 6: Semifinals
August 11: MLS is Back Tournament Final
MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT
July 8 to August 11
Number of Matches: 54 (39 group; 15 knockout)
Number of Matchdays: 26
Format: Group Stage, followed by Round-of-16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals & Championship Match
Minimum Matches: 3 (per club)
Maximum Matches: 7 (per club