HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls learned matchup dates, times and broadcast information Wednesday for the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
The Red Bulls will kick off their tournament with a match against Atlanta United FC on Saturday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and TUDN. New York will face Columbus Crew SC on Thursday, July 16 at 10:30 p.m. on FS1 and TUDN, and FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 22 at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
The group stage will consist of 16 consecutive days of games with each MLS club playing three matches against teams within their drawn groups. All group stage match results will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings, as well as toward qualification to the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
Should New York advance out of their group, the tournament will continue in the Knockout Stage presented by Audi with eight Round-of-16 matches, played as doubleheaders on four consecutive evenings (July 25-28), followed by four quarterfinal matches (July 30-Aug 1), two semifinal games (Aug. 5-6) and the MLS is Back Tournament Final on August 11 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN). The tournament champion will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
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. 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 (the fourth-placed team in Group A is eligible to advance) based on points, goal difference, goals for, fair play points.
ESPN will oversee game production services for MLS broadcast partners throughout the tournament, delivering produced feeds of all matches to FOX Sports, Univision, TSN, TVA Sports and the league’s international broadcast networks. Each broadcast partner will use their own on-air talent to call the games and produce their own graphics packages for use during telecasts. The MLS is Back Tournament on television will feature unique and experimental technology to enhance the production. More details on the production enhancements will be announced prior to the start of the tournament.