ANKARA

The US’ Major League Soccer (MLS) will return to action from July 8, nearly four months after it was suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

America’s top football division will resume with a special “MLS is Back” tournament featuring all 26 teams.

The tournament will be divided into four stages – group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship.

There will be a total of 54 matches – 39 group and 15 knockout games – and the final is scheduled for Aug. 11.

All matches will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The 26 teams will be divided into six groups in the Eastern and Western conferences.

The Eastern Conference has three groups, one of six teams and two with four teams each, while all three Western Conference groups consist of four teams.

A total of 16 teams – top two from each group and four best third-place finishers – will move to the knockout stages, which begin on July 25.

Each of the 39 group stage games will count for points toward the 2020 regular season, according to the organizers.

“Upon completion of the MLS is Back Tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets, followed by the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and the 25th MLS Cup. The schedule will be developed at a later date,” read a statement on the MLS website.

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