SEATTLE, WASH. – Major League Soccer announced today an updated format and schedule for the MLS is Back Tournament and that Nashville SC have been withdrawn from the competition. Combined with FC Dallas previously pulling out of the tournament, MLS has reconfigured the groups by sliding Chicago Fire SC over to Group B alongside Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. By doing so, the tournament now has six groups, each consisting of four teams.
Additionally, Sounders FC’s Group Stage schedule has been adjusted, with the club now facing Chicago on Tuesday, July 14 (6:00 a.m. PT / ESPN, ESPN Deportes) and Vancouver on Sunday, July 19 (7:30 p.m. PT / FS1, TUDN). Seattle’s match vs. San Jose remains on schedule for tomorrow evening (6:00 p.m. PT / ESPN, ESPN Deportes).
Since arriving in Orlando, nine players on Nashville have had confirmed positive test results for COVID-19. The decision was made in the best interest of the health of all players and staff participating in the tournament, and in line with protocols created in conjunction with local and national health authorities and infectious disease experts. FC Dallas, who was originally in Group B with Seattle, Vancouver and San Jose, also withdrew from the tournament after 10 players and one member of the technical staff were confirmed positive for COVID-19
With groups now even at four teams apiece, 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.