NEW YORK – Major League Soccer Friday announced the regular season schedule and national broadcast details through the end of September, as well as the MLS Cup Playoffs qualification and competition format.
As with the MLS is Back Tournament and phase one of returning to play in local markets, each team will adhere to comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19.
From Sept. 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. As the league continues to finalize travel protocols, the Canadian teams will play all three of their matches in the U.S., including each club hosting one home match in a U.S. city. The Montreal Impact will host a match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., Toronto FC at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Conn., and Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols.
Univision network will feature two additional matches through the end of September, including Sporting Kansas City hosting FC Dallas on Saturday, Sept. 19 (3:30 p.m. ET) and 2020 expansion side Nashville SC hosting the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Sept. 26 (3:30 p.m. ET). In addition, FS1 will showcase Sporting Kansas City hosting MLS is Back Tournament finalist Orlando City SC on Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Matches not aired nationally by a U.S, English-language network will be streamed live in English on Twitter. In addition, matches will air regionally through individual club broadcast partners and will be showcased nationally, out-of-market, on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Canadian coverage of matches in September will see all Montreal Impact matches aired in French on TVA Sports, while TSN will provide English-language coverage of all Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC matches.
In addition to announcing regular season match details through September, MLS also today confirmed qualification details and the competition format for the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs will again consist of single-elimination matches hosted by the higher-seeded team and follow a straight bracket format through MLS Cup on Dec.12.
As previously announced, in an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Eight teams from the 12-team Western Conference will qualify directly to Round 1. The top six seeds from the 14-team Eastern Conference will qualify directly to Round 1. Eastern Conference seeds 7-10 will each compete in a play-in match (No. 7 vs. No. 10, and No. 8 vs. No. 9) to determine the two additional Eastern Conference teams that will qualify for the playoffs Round 1.
The lower-seeded advancing team will face the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed in Round 1, while the higher-seeded advancing team will face the Eastern Conference No. 2 seed.
The playoffs schedule and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.