Major League Soccer has announced the format for its return to play tournament, which will be held in Orlando, Fla. starting Wednesday, July 8 and running until Tuesday, August 11.
All 26 clubs including the Revolution will compete in the World Cup-style tournament, which will feature 16 consecutive days of soccer, and much like the rest of the world, will play without fans in the stands at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
Group stage matches are to count in the regular season standings, with the overall tournament winner, regardless if it is a U.S.- or Canada-based club, receiving a berth into next year’s CONCACAF Champions League competition. This berth is a one-time awarding, taking the place of the conference winner opposite the Supporter’s Shield winner for 2020.
Teams will arrive in central Florida as early as July 24 to begin pre-tournament training. Group stage matches will be played daily at 9 a.m., 8 p.m., and 10:30 p.m., with a majority of the match played at night to account for Florida’s summer temperatures.
Each team will play three group stage matches, with the top two teams in each group plus the top four third-place finishers advancing to the knock-out phase of the competition.
In the knock-out phase, matches that end in a tie in regulation will go directly to penalties, without the need for extra time. Teams will be allowed five substitutions, and will have a maximum 23 players available for selection on match days.
The Revolution will be placed in one of three Eastern Conference groups as part of Thursday’s live draw (3:30 p.m. ET), with the chance to be in a group of six teams, with the other two groups of four. The Western Conference will have three groups of four teams.
MLS newboys Nashville FC has been moved to the Eastern Conference for the purposes of this tournament and the remainder of the 2020 season, according to a release from the league.