MLS Will Be the First American Team Sport Back

The MLS announced this morning that they will return to play on July 8th, kicking off a 26-team tournament at the Wide World of Sports complex in Disney.

"The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women. Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long."

The tournament will consist of all 26 teams in the MLS; there will be a group stage followed by knockout rounds, and the finals are on August 11th.

MLS will very likely be the first major American team sport back. The NBA is not returning until July 31st. The NHL has not yet set a formal date. MLB and the MLBPA are making some small progress in negotiations this week but nonetheless still squabbling over money. Give the MLS a lot of credit for figuring this out -- they are going to have a window of exposure that could help the league garner more fans in the long run.

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Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.