After seeing the NWSL open on Saturday, I’m confident that Major League Soccer will not draw the same emotions from me that yesterday’s two games did. Frankly, if we hadn’t been starved of our live sports the last three months, I may well have been ignoring MLS this Summer except for the occasional Sporting KC and Chicago Fire match. This is a unique situation however so I took the time today to input all of the upcoming MLS matches into my Soccer on TV calendar for those who are more excited about the league’s return. Major League Soccer Returns July 8th
The MLS is Back Tournament kicks off July 8 and runs until the final on August 11. The regular season (this, like the NWSL tournament look to be the only League play this year) will resume in a tournament format at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. Teams have begun arriving for training and climate adjustment for a few.
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). For more details, including what groups the teams are slotted in, can be found at ESPN. I’ll provide an update when we are closer.
Here’s the schedule for the first three days. I’ve got that Wednesday July 8th late game on my calendar already. Will Connor Sparrow get minutes between the pipes for the Fire and face off against Joe Willis for Nashville (a bit of early Vianney v CCP action)? We won’t see Will Bruin on July 10th for the Sounders as he is injured yet again Tom Barlow will be ready for the Red Bulls when they open against Atlanta United on July, a Saturday night match. Sporting KC returns on July 12th.
For those of you with ESPN+ subscriptions, the good news is they will have plenty of games.
|July 8||19:00||Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF||ESPN/ESPN Deportes|
|July 8||21:30||Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire FC||ESPN/ESPN Deportes|
|July 9||19:00||Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution||TUDN|
|July 9||21:30||FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC||TUDN|
|July 10||19:00||Toronto FC vs. D.C. United||ESPN/ESPN Deportes|
|July 10||21:30||Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes||ESPN/ESPN Deportes|
I had some initial enthusiasm thinking Fox Soccer had thrown in the towel but they are ceding the early games to ESPN but then grabbing their share later in the tournament. More Alexi Lalas 🙁 The good news is they are going to get us used to a regular scheule, with double-headers at 7 and 9:30 pm during the group stage although you’ll still have to sort out the channel that day’s games are broadcast on. Major League Soccer Returns July 8th