FC Cincinnati leaves for Orlando ahead of season opening tournament

FC Cincinnati leaves for Orlando ahead of season opening tournament

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - FC Cincinnati is leaving for Florida on Monday ahead of their season-opening tournament.

Major League Soccer announced earlier this month the league plans to restart the 2020 season July 8 with a tournament in Orlando.

The league’s 26 teams will be divided into six groups for the opening round of the MLS is Back Tournament which will be played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

Teams had only played two games when the league suspended play on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Group stage matches will count in the MLS regular season standings and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.

Teams that can conduct full team training in their markets according to the league’s medical and testing protocols must arrive no later than seven days before their first match.

Once players are in Florida, they will be sequestered in a resort with a rigorous testing protocol.

Each team will have three group matches that will be played during multiple daily games over 16 consecutive days. Group matches will count toward the regular season.

Sixteen teams will go on to the knockout round. The winner will earn a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

After the tournament, teams can resume the rest of the season in their home markets.

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