A match between the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution in March. Photo: Timothy Bouwer/ISI Photos/Getty Images
Major League Soccer will return to action on July 8 with all 26 teams competing in a 54-game, 35-day, World Cup-style tournament.
Why it matters: Like the NBA, the competition will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando.
- Unlike the NBA, this is not a postseason tournament. Instead, the group stage matches will count in the regular-season standings, and once the tournament ends, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in which teams would play in their home cities. The playoffs would then follow.
- Times: Matches will be played at 9 a.m. ET, 8 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET each day.
- Format: After 16 days of group stage matches, the top two teams in each group and the four best third-place finishers advance to the knockout rounds.
- Fun fact: The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (see below) was home to Orlando City Soccer Club in 2014, the year before they made the jump to MLS.
Map: There it is — the future home of the NBA and MLS. The basketball facilities are in the center near the main baseball stadium, while soccer fields are spread across the property.