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MLS is Back Tournament Betting
The sporting world was turned upside down because of COVID-19, and MLS was no exception. The league won’t even have a full regular season in 2020, as they will incorporate a tournament as part of the schedule. The MLS is Back Tournament will take place over a period of five weeks in Florida beginning on July 8, with all 26 teams playing for a chance to win the title. There will be a total of 54 games played, from the group stage to the championship. There will be six groups with each team having four teams except for Group A which will have six teams. The action will begin on July 8, 2020 and conclude with the title game on August 9, 2020. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.
Games for the MLS is Back Tournament will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida which is close to Orlando. All of the group stage games will count in terms of points in the 2020 regular season standings. The 26 teams will be split into six groups with each conference having three groups. Each team will play three group stage matches in the period of 16 days.
MLS is Back Tournament
Group A – Orlando, Miami, NYCFC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville
Group B – Seattle, Dallas, Vancouver, San Jose
Group C – Toronto, New England, Montreal, D.C. United
Group D – Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado, Minnesota
Group E – Atlanta, Cincinnati, NY Red Bulls, Columbus
Group F – LAFC, LA Galaxy, Houston, Portland
Once the MLS is Back Tournament is complete, the regular season is supposed to continue, culminating with the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and the 25th MLS Cup.
The success of Major League Soccer is now a model for other nascent sports leagues to emulate in America. The MLS was founded as part of a push to get soccer to catch on in the States in concurrence with the U.S. hosting the 1994 World Cup. Interest in the national team surged after the World Cup, and hopes were high for the MLS once it started play in 1996.
However, things were touch and go for a number of years before the league stabilized this decade.
For the first decade of its existence, the MLS was barely, if at all, profitable. Teams in Tampa and Miami folded, and it looked like the league might eventually go down the same path as the NASL with interest seemingly tapering off. However, over the last decade the league has not only stabilized but thrived. The arrival of soccer-only stadiums helped teams create a sense of community with smaller, livelier atmospheres, while the improving fortunes of the national team led to continued interest in the domestic league. Others latched on because of the gravity attached to former stars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry joining the league, but all these factors contributed to the growth of the MLS.
The Los Angeles Galaxy have been the MLS’ poster franchise since the inception of the league. The LA lifestyle has allowed the team to attract star players like Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from overseas, and they have been the most successful franchise in the league by a wide margin. The Galaxy were able to win the MLS Cup in 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2014, while finishing runner-up in 1996, 1999, 2001, and 2009.
D.C. United were the league’s most successful club through the first decade, winning three of the first four titles and four MLS Cups overall, but their fortunes have fallen significantly since that point. The Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City, and the San Jose Earthquakes are the only other teams to have won multiple titles in the history of the MLS. The New England Revolution are the Buffalo Bills of the league, with five runner-up finishes without a title to their name.
||Fort Lauderdale, Florida
||Inter Miami CF Stadium
|New England Revolution
|New York City FC
||New York City, New York
|New York Red Bulls
||Harrison, New Jersey
||Red Bull Arena
||Talen Energy Stadium
||Commerce City, Colorado
||Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
|Los Angeles FC
||Los Angeles, California
||Banc of California Stadium
|Los Angeles Galaxy
||Dignity Health Sports Park
|Real Salt Lake
||Rio Tinto Stadium
|San Jose Earthquakes
||San Jose, California
|Sporting Kansas City
||Kansas City, Kansas
||Children’s Mercy Park
||Vancouver, British Columbia
MLS Past Season Winners (2010)
||Los Angeles Galaxy
||New England Revolution
||Sporting Kansas City
||Real Salt Lake
||Los Angeles Galaxy
||Los Angeles Galaxy
It’s the MLS’ silver anniversary in 2020, and the league is celebrating by continuing to expand. Over the last three years, we have seen the league add four clubs, and two more teams are set to kick off their inaugural seasons in 2020. Inter Miami CF will join the Eastern Conference, bringing soccer back to south Florida, while Nashville SC will join the Western Conference.
Austin FC and Charlotte will join the league in 2021, and St. Louis and Sacramento are scheduled to join the league in 2022, bringing the MLS to 30 teams.
Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders have met in three of the last four MLS Cup Finals, so it’s no surprise that these two clubs are among the favorites to win the title in 2020. Both Los Angeles clubs are considered frontrunners too after Los Angeles FC posted the best regular season in league history last season, and the Los Angeles Galaxy splurged with the signing of fan favorite Chicharito.
In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta United are the most dangerous team on paper despite some big moves in their back line over the break. The two New York clubs continue to look like contenders, but they have continually let their fans down in the playoffs, so it’s hard to have much faith in them until they prove it at this point.
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