SEATTLE – In their first meaningful game since a 1-1 draw with Columbus on March 1, the Sounders will face San Jose on July 10 as part of the “MLS is Back” tournament featuring the league’s 26 teams at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the league announced Wednesday.
The Sounders are in Group B for the tournament that runs July 8 through Aug. 11, joining FC Dallas, the San Jose Earthquakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Every team is scheduled to play three group-stage games, and all group-stage results will count toward the 2020 regular season standings. In the coming weeks, the league expects to announce its post-tournament plans for resuming its regular season.
All of the groups consist of four teams, except Group A, which has six teams. Because of this imbalance, the top three teams in Group A will advance to the knockout rounds, and the top two teams in Groups B-F will also advance. The last three spots will be the top three finishers among the remaining 13 teams.
Tiebreakers for the final three knockout-round spots, if necessary, are: points (three for a win, one for a tie, zero for a loss), goal differential, goals scored and fewest disciplinary points.
The knockout stage will begin with the Round of 16 on July 25 with four consecutive days of doubleheaders. The quarterfinals will run July 30 through Aug. 1 with doubleheaders. The semifinals are Aug. 5 and 6, with the championship at 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. All 54 tournament games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1 or TUDN (formerly known as Univision Deportes Network).
The “MLS is Back” champion will win $1.1 million and a berth in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
Teams played two games each before MLS shut down March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Sounders, which won the 2019 MLS Cup, returned to full team training June 12.
Midfielder Harry Shipp, who announced his retirement last week, is the only player not expected to travel to Florida for the MLS tournament.
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