#MLSisBACK and Anything Is Possible
MLS is Back Tournament Semifinal Matchups Set:
- Philadelphia Union to face Portland Timbers on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. ET
- Orlando City SC to face Minnesota United FC on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m.E
16 MLS Clubs Advanced to the Knockout Round. Then Eight Teams Advanced to the Quarterfinals:
Sporting KC, New York City FC, Orlando City, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, LAFC, San Jose & Minnesota United Advance to the Quarterfinals.
- Minnesota United defeated San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers beat New York City FC yesterday in the Quarterfinals
The first Quarterfinal matchup of the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage was between Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, July 30. Union beat KC 3-1 to advance.
Orlando City stunned fans as it relentlessly beat LAFC to advance in #MLSisBACK in the second Quarterfinal on Friday, July 31.
Great photography from the MLS is Back tournament brings to life the joy of the beautiful game as teams fight to stay in Orlando.
Many of the earlier games went down to the wire in the group stage and now fans are enjoying the Round of 16 in the MLS is Back Tournament. All remaining matches in the tournament moving to a winner-take-all single-elimination format.
It is win or go home time.
Anything can happen — It is a level playing field — Crazy things have happened.Omar Gonzalez, Toronto FC
Don’t miss the action: The first Quarterfinal matchup of the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage between Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City is on Thursday, July 30 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN/ ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports 2).
The Philadelphia Union advanced out of Group A with 7 points before Jim Curtin’s squad defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 in the Round-of-16 behind a Sergio Santos strike in the 63rd minute, with Union goalkeeper Andre Blake’s five saves preserving the shutout victory.
Sporting Kansas City won Group D with 6 points before the pressure was on in a down-to-the-wire Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC which was ultimately decided by a penalty kick shootout, as goalkeeper Tim Melia turned aside two attempts to send SKC through.
Orlando City vs. LAFC is on Friday, July 31. Congratulations to Orlando, the host city of #MLSisBACK for making it to the playoffs for the first time since entering the MLS in 2015.
Recap on MLS Teams Advancing:
Minnesota United FC and Portland Timbers both advanced on penalty kicks in MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage leaving Columbus Crew and Cincinnati knocked out. LAFC, San Jose also both emerged triumphantly, kicking Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake to the curb. New York City FC and Sporting KC earned the right to advance as did Orlando SC and Philadelphia Union, leaving behind New England Rev, Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps behind.
Of course, good luck to all teams advancing!
MLS Quote of the Week
#MLSisBACK has proven to be a real test for coaches and players. In a pre-quarterfinals press conference on July 30th, Ronny Deila, Head Coach New York City FC discussed that winning is the consequence of hard work.
“IT IS EASIER TO WORK WHEN YOU ARE WINNING.”Ronny Deila, Head Coach New York City FC, July 30 2020
A strong advocate of young players, Deila also complimented James Sands, NYCFC’s first-ever homegrown player signed in July 2017 who had one of his best performances in the last match against Toronto FC. “James was the best on the pitch last time,” said Deila.
New York City FC will face Portland Timbers on Saturday, August 1 at 10:30 PM ET
MLS Quote of the Round of 16
Undefeated in five games, Columbus Crew is the only MLS team in #MLSisBACK to earn 9 points advancing into the knockout stage. “We are really proud of that. Our #1 priority is to win the MLS Cup,” said Caleb Porter, Head Coach Columbus Crew SC
“AFTER FOUR MONTH, TO GET ALL NINE POINTS SAYS EVERYTHING ABOUT THE TEAM’S HUNGER.”Caleb Porter, Head Coach Columbus Crew SC
July 27 Update: Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps was the match where the young professional players made a huge impact.
Sporting Kansas City advances to Quarterfinals on penalty kicks in MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps.
The excitement was palpable in the 3-1 in shootout victory that followed the scoreless draw. Now, Sporting advances to face Philadelphia Union in Quarterfinals on Thursday. Sporting set a club record with an amazing 36 shots attempts in regulation.
Sporting’s goalkeeper, Tim Melia made two pivotal saves in the decisive penalty shootout.
Sporting’s homegrown 18-year-old midfielder Gianluca Busio earned the game-winning penalty kick.
Vancouver 21-year-old goalkeeper Thomas Hasal, the club’s third-string goalkeeper, held SKC without a goal with eight saves on 32 shots taken, but Whitecaps FC could not hang on in penalties.
New York City FC defeated Toronto 3-1 with goals from Jesus Medina, Valentin Castellanos, and Maxi Moralez. The victory was the second consecutive win for NYCFC in the tournament under first-year head coach Ronny Deila.
July 26: Orlando City SC became the first club to advance to the MLS is Back Tournament Quarterfinals after defeating the Montreal Impact 1-0 off forward Tesho Akindele‘s goal in the 60th minute.
It is great to have the MLS Back…
The pictures from the #MLSisBACK games tell the story. America has missed the MLS and the players have missed the exuberance and joy of playing the beautiful game, even without fans in the stadiums because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic still raging on.
MLS has created a safe bubble for the teams in Orlando and no new players or staff have tested positive recently.
After 16 consecutive days of group stage matches in the #MLSisBACK tournament, the top two teams from each group, along with the four best third-place finishers have qualified for the Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
#MLSisBACK Update: Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union Advance & Montreal Impact, New England Rev are OutIn Round of 16
The Round-of-16 began this Saturday, July 25, and consists of four consecutive days of doubleheaders each evening.
Some fan-favorite teams have been sent packing and others have shown the fortitude and strength to remain in the battle.
Player To Watch: #MLSisBACK tournament’s breakout young star Toronto FC‘s Ayo Akinola – who is tied for the Golden Boot lead – and his squad will face New York City FC – the fourth and final third-place team to clinch a spot in the Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
Now we are playing with house money. The games do not affect the table. This is a very tough contest.Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City Manager/Head Coach
- CLICK HERE for the final standings for the Group Stage presented by Heineken
Knockout Stage Round-of-16 Matchups:
July 25-28: Four consecutive days of doubleheader action – which teams have the right stuff to reach the quarterfinals? Check out MLS is Back Tournament Round of 16 predictions | Greg Selzer to see why Sporting KC and Toronto FC are among the favorites to advance.
Saturday, July 25
8 p.m. ET Orlando City SC beat Montreal Impact
10:30 p.m. ET Philadelphia Union beat New England Revolution
Sunday, July 26
8:30 p.m. ET New York City FC beat Toronto FC
11 p.m. ET Sporting Kansas City beat Vancouver Whitecaps
Monday, July 27
8:30 p.m. ET San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake (FS1/FOX Deportes/TSN)
11 p.m. ET Seattle Sounders FC vs. Los Angeles Football Club (FS1/UniMás/TUDN/TSN/TSN Sports)
Tuesday, July 28
8 p.m. ET Columbus Crew SC vs. Minnesota United (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN)
10:30 p.m. ET Portland Timbers vs FC Cincinnati (ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN)
- July 25: Orlando City (A1) vs. Montreal Impact (C3)
- July 25: Philadelphia Union (A2) vs. New England Revolution (C2)
- July 26: Toronto FC (C1) vs. NYCFC (A3)
- July 26: Sporting Kansas City (D1) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (B3)
- July 27: San Jose Earthquakes (B1) vs. Real Salt Lake (D3)
- July 27: Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC (F2)
- July 28: Columbus Crew SC (E1) vs. Minnesota United (D2)
- July 28: Portland Timbers (F1) vs. FC Cincinnati (E2)
Here is a brief recap and some of our favorite shots of the action.
Don’t miss the upcoming games. Click here for the MLS is Back schedule.
Seattle Sounders beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 in a do or die match in the MLS is Back tournament on July 19.
Nicolas Lodeiro scored from the penalty spot in the first half, and Jordan Morris found the back of the net as well, scoring his third goal of the season and Paúl Ruidíaz added the final goal.
Now, Seattle joins San Jose in advancing to the next round of the #MLSisBACK
July 19th: Chicago Fire FC vs San Jose Earthquakes Group B match at Wide World of Sports was a showdown with Earthquakes beating Fire 2-0. Chicago had been performing strongly before but faltered against the Earthquakes. Fan favorite Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza scored the two goals shutting out the Fire, and the victory advances the team to the next round.
Fun Fact: This was the 161st goal scored by Chris Wondolowsk in 364 MLS appearances. Wondolowski was MLS’s top scorer in the 2010 and 2012 seasons and was named the 2012 Most Valuable Player.
On July 18th the impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19 was more apparent than ever because of the unusual El Trafico matchup between LA clubs.
LAFC Overwhelmed LA Galaxy – Final Score: 6-2
Without traffic, fans, or fuss, this year’s El Trafico could have lost its name except for the extreme and unexpected one-sided action. LA is a city in which no one dominates for long and this match left fans wondering what happened to the Galaxy.
LAFC clearly poured on the goals at the end of the match that they dominated against their LA neighbor and effortlessly cruised to a clear victory in Group F play.
Diego Rossi scored four goals, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mohamed El-Munir each tallied in the second half to squash the Galaxy’s hopes after leading 2-1 during the first half. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez missed the game after suffering an injury in training midweek. From the first few minutes, it was the Galaxy’s game to lose.
The match opened with the Galaxy benefiting from a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute via an own goal; Sebastian Lletget’s squared ball was passed into the LAFC net by Latif Blessing. Rossi’s PK then made it 1-1, only for the Galaxy to claim a 2-1 lead in the 31st minute when Cristian Pavon made amends on a second attempt from 12 yards out. After that, the horizon darkened for the Galaxy.
Portland also beat Houston 2-1 and today, the Fire take on San Jose and Seattle meets Vancouver in all-important matches in the ongoing #MLSisBACK battle.
On July 17, the soccer action at the #MLSisBACK tournament kept fans glued to their screens as Sporting Kansas City hit their stride and rallied to a wild 3-2 win over Colorado Rapids.
Sporting bounces back into contention for top-two finish in Group D;Khiry Shelton scores in his third straight MLS appearance; Alan Pulido buries penalty for the third goal of 2020 campaign; Graham Zusi nets dramatic winner in 91st minute for the first goal since 2018; Sporting to face Real Salt Lake at 8 a.m. CT Wednesday in the group stage finale. Sporting currently ranks behind Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake in Group D.
On July 16, Columbus Crew SC enjoyed a 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC won 4-3 over rival Montreal Impact at the MLS is Back Tournament.
THE HIGHLIGHT WAS TORONTO FC’S 20-YEAR-OLD HOMEGROWN FORWARD AYO AKINOLA EARNING A HAT TRICK.
Toronto’s 20-year-old Homegrown forward Ayo Akinola became the third player under the age of 21 to score a hat trick in MLS league history.
FC Cincinnati also defeated Eastern Conference frontrunners Atlanta United 1-0. The victory was new head coach Jaap Stam‘s second game and the club’s first win in 2020.
After losing its opener 4-0 to rival Columbus, Cincinnati’s win was an upset, especially as Atlanta lost its opening match 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
Also on July 16 – Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls match at the Wide World of Sports saw great action. Columbus Crew SC (3-0-1, 10 pts) beat New York Red Bulls (2-1-1, 7 pts), 2-0 on Thursday night.
San Jose Earthquakes beat Vancouver Whitecaps FC in MLS is Back on July 15th.
San Jose came from behind and rallied from a two-goal deficit to surprise fans as well as their opponent and defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3. According to ESPN,” San Jose ended a nine-match winless streak since their most recent victory on Aug. 31. The Quakes also took the lead in Group B of the tournament with a win and a draw from their first two games.”
Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union clinch spots in #MLSisBACK Round of 16 as NYCFC Suffers Second Defeat, Chicago Fire Beats MLS Champions
July 14th: Orlando City captured its second consecutive victory in the tournament with a 3-1 victory over New York City FC thanks to a brace from forward Chris Mueller and another goal from Tesho Akindele.
#MLSisBack excitement continued as Philadelphia Union defeated Inter Miami CF 2-1 coming from behind with goals from Kai Wagner and Kacper Przybylko for the club’s second straight win in tournament play.
The first match on Tuesday, July 14 was perhaps the most exciting. Chicago Fire FC defeated reigning champions Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at the MLS is Back Tournament kicked off its sixth day.
Chicago Fire FC vs Seattle Sounders Group B match-up at Wide World of Sports was everything soccer fans wanted … unless you wanted the champions to win.
#MLSisBack kicked off with a Florida vs Florida showdown with hosts Orlando City emerging victorious 2-1 over Beckham’s Inter Miami FC.
New York City FC (NYCFC) fell to Philadelphia Union on July 9 and New England Revolution defeated Montreal Impact with the same 1-0 score.
MATCHES WERE CLOSE, 1-0 WAS THE FINAL SCORE OF 3 GAMES UNTIL COLUMBUS CREW TOOK DOWN FC CINCINNATI 4-0
Sporting KC lost to Minnesota United FC 2-1 in a heartbreaker and Real Salt Lake shut out Colorado Rapids 2-0.
Are More MLS Players Testing Positive in Orlando at #MLSisBack?
Toronto FC tied D.C. United 2-2. LAFC played Houston Dynamo and tied 3-3. And, LA Galaxy looked strong in the opening but fell to Portland Timbers 2-1. Later today is NYCFC vs Orlando City.
No New MLS Players Test Positive
Update Major League Soccer COVID-19 Testing as of July 18: 1,354 tests were administered to 1,114 individuals from July 16-17 in the MLS bubble in Florida and 0 new cases were detected, which is great news.
Zero confirmed positive individuals from 24 clubs/staff participating in the tournament for the period of July 16-17 as well as no new confirmed positive individuals from the two non-participating clubs.