D.C. United will face Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact and New England Revolution in the group stage of the MLS Is Back Tournament, a five-week event marking the return of U.S. men’s team sports from the pandemic shutdown.

The league conducted a semi-random draw Thursday to determine the six groups. Eastern and Western Conference teams were kept separate, six teams were awarded top seeds and expansion Inter Miami was placed beforehand in Orlando City’s group.

The 26-team, 54-game competition will take place without spectators at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in greater Orlando, from July 8 to Aug. 11.

Group matches will count toward the regular season, which was interrupted in March after two weekends. MLS is aiming to resume the regular season in home markets later this summer or in the fall.

In the five groups with four clubs, each team will play one another once. In the six-team group, a predetermined grid determined the potential matchups.

The schedule’s times and dates will be announced as early as next week.

Two teams from each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the round of 16. In the knockout stage, which will not count toward the regular season, a tied match will proceed directly to a penalty-kick tiebreaker rather than involve 30 minutes of extra time.

The round of 16 will take place July 25-28, the quarterfinals July 30-Aug. 1, the semifinals Aug. 5-6 and the final Aug. 11.

Because of the summer heat and TV considerations, matches will kick off at 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Eastern time. ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision will provide live coverage.

Group A (Eastern Conference)

1. Orlando City

2. Inter Miami

3. New York City FC

4. Philadelphia Union

5. Chicago Fire

6. Nashville SC


Orlando vs. Inter Miami, NYCFC, Nashville

Inter Miami vs. Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago

NYCFC vs. Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago

Philadelphia vs. Inter Miami, NYCFC, Nashville

Chicago vs. Inter Miami, NYCFC, Nashville

Nashville vs. Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago

Group B (Western)

1. Seattle Sounders

2. FC Dallas

3. Vancouver Whitecaps

4. San Jose Earthquakes

Group C (Eastern)

1. Toronto FC

2. New England Revolution

3. Montreal Impact

4. D.C. United

Group D (Western)

1. Real Salt Lake

2. Sporting Kansas City

3. Colorado Rapids

4. Minnesota United

Group E (Eastern)

1. Atlanta United

2. FC Cincinnati

3. New York Red Bulls

4. Columbus Crew

Group F (Western)

1. Los Angeles FC

2. Los Angeles Galaxy

3. Houston Dynamo

4. Portland Timbers

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