MLS is Back: TV schedule, fixtures and how it works - everything you need to know

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MLS commissioner details process if a player contracts COVID-19 (2:02)

Commissioner Don Garber discusses how the MLS is Back Tournament came about and the process the league will undergo if a player is diagnosed with the coronavirus. (2:02)

Editor's note: This file was originally published on June 24. Following the withdrawal of FC Dallas on July 6 and Nashville SC on July 9, the tournament format and schedule has been updated.

Major League Soccer is nearly back, with the aptly named MLS is Back Tournament kicking off July 8 and running until the final on Aug. 11. After the league suspended play on March 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the regular season will resume in a tournament format at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort, just outside Orlando (ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company.)

Jump to: Knockout round | Group stage | MLS is Back draw | Tournament format | Testing protocol

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Knockout round schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 5
Semifinal: Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Thursday, Aug. 6
Semifinal: Orlando City vs. Minnesota United, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

Tuesday, Aug. 11
Final: TBC vs. TBC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 30
Quarterfinal: Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sporting Kansas City

Friday, July 31
Quarterfinal: Orlando City SC 1-1 LAFC (Orlando won 5-4 on penalties)

Saturday, Aug. 1
Quarterfinal: San Jose Earthquakes 1-4 Minnesota United FC
Quarterfinal: New York City FC 1-3 Portland Timbers

Saturday, July 25
Round of 16: Orlando City SC 1-0 Montreal Impact
Round of 16: Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution

Sunday, July 26
Round of 16: Toronto FC 1-3 New York City FC
Round of 16: Sporting Kansas City 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (SKC won 3-1 on penalties)

Monday, July 27
Round of 16: San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 Real Salt Lake
Round of 16: Seattle Sounders FC 1-4 LAFC

Tuesday, July 28
Round of 16: Columbus Crew 1-1 Minnesota United FC (Minnesota won 5-4 on penalties)
Round of 16: Portland Timbers 1-1 FC Cincinnati (Portland won 4-2 on penalties)

Group stage schedule

- Standings

Wednesday, July 8
Orlando City SC 2-1 Inter Miami CF, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 9
New York City FC 0-1 Philadelphia Union, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact 0-1 New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN

Friday, July 10
Seattle Sounders FC 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Saturday, July 11
Atlanta United FC 0-1 New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, Fox/TUDN
FC Cincinnati 0-4 Columbus Crew SC, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Sunday, July 12
Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Minnesota United FC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Real Salt Lake 2-0 Colorado Rapids, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Monday, July 13
Toronto FC 2-2 D.C. United, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
LAFC 3-3 Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
LA Galaxy 1-2 Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Tuesday, July 14
Chicago Fire FC 2-1 Seattle Sounders FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
New York City FC 1-3 Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. ET, TUDN
Philadelphia Union 2-1 Inter Miami CF, 10:30 p.m. ET, TUDN

Wednesday, July 15
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-4 San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. ET, TUDN

Thursday, July 16
Atlanta United FC 0-1 FC Cincinnati, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Montreal Impact 3-4 Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN/TSN/TVA Sports
Columbus Crew SC 2-0 New York Red Bulls, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Friday, July 17
D.C. United 1-1 New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Real Salt Lake 0-0 Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Saturday, July 18
Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
LAFC 6-2 LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Sunday, July 19
Chicago Fire FC 0-2 San Jose Earthquakes, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
Seattle Sounders FC 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN

Monday, July 20
Inter Miami CF 0-1 New York City FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Philadelphia Union 1-1 Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/TUDN

Tuesday, July 21
Toronto FC 0-0 New England Revolution, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Atlanta United FC 0-1 Columbus Crew SC, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/TUDN
Montreal Impact 1-0 D.C. United, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/TUDN

Wednesday, July 22
Real Salt Lake 0-2 Sporting Kansas City, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
FC Cincinnati 2-0 New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Colorado Rapids 2-2 Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes

Thursday, July 23
Chicago Fire FC 0-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes
LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET, FS1/TUDN
LAFC vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

MLS is Back groups

Group A (Eastern Conference)
1. Orlando City SC
2. Inter Miami CF
3. New York City FC
4. Philadelphia Union
NOTE: Nashville SC withdrew on July 9

Group B (Western Conference)
1. Seattle Sounders FC
2. Vancouver Whitecaps
3. San Jose Earthquakes
4. Chicago Fire SC -- moved from Group A on July 9
NOTE: FC Dallas withdrew on July 6

Group C (Eastern Conference)
1. Toronto FC
2. New England Revolution
3. Montreal Impact
4. D.C. United

Group D (Western Conference)
1. Real Salt Lake
2. Sporting Kansas City
3. Colorado Rapids
4. Minnesota United FC

Group E (Eastern Conference)
1. Atlanta United FC
2. FC Cincinnati
3. New York Red Bulls
4. Columbus Crew SC

Group F (Western Conference)
1. LAFC
2. LA Galaxy
3. Houston Dynamo
4. Portland Timbers

How does MLS is Back work?

All 26 clubs will take part, as the league breaks them up into five groups of four and one group of six. Three teams from Group A, as well as the top two in each of the other groups, will advance to the round of 16. Additionally, the next three highest-ranked teams in the group stage will round out the knockout field (the fourth-placed team in Group A will be eligible to advance).

Update: Following the withdrawal of Dallas and Nashville, 24 teams remain; the top two teams from each group, along with the four best third-place finishers will move on to the knockout stage, which begins July 25.

In the group stage, the MLS is Back Tournament works just the same as the regular season. Results from each team's three matches will count toward the 2020 standings.

Games in the knockout rounds will not count toward regular-season points totals, but the tournament's winner will earn a place in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. Players also will be eligible for bonuses from a $1.1 million prize pool.

How often will there be testing?

All individuals deemed "essential members" of a team's delegation will be tested both before and after traveling to Orlando. Prior to travel, these tests include two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, 24 hours apart. Players also will undergo a baseline serology (antibody) test as part of a physical exam that includes a temperature check and the completion of a screening questionnaire.

Players, coaches and support staff will be tested every other day for two weeks after arriving in Florida. Those individuals, as well as referees, will then be tested regularly, including prior to each matchday.