By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
Some of the league’s biggest stars, including Adama Diomande, Chichartio, Tyler Miller, Nani, Aaron Long and many more, are taking to the virtual pitch starting this weekend.
Sixteen MLS clubs are teaming up MLS players and their eMLS players counterparts for a five-week, nationally-televised FIFA 20 tournament set to debut on Sunday, April 19 at 7 pm EST on FS1 and Fox Deportes.
Hosted by FOX Sports’ Stu Holden, Rachel Bonnetta and Rodolfo Landeros, with color commentary from former New York Red Bulls eMLS representative Mike LaBelle, the entire series will take place remotely, with MLS and eMLS players and commentators alike participating from their homes.
“The eMLS Tournament Special represents the spirit of MLS Unites by entertaining fans and giving back to our communities,” Camilo Durana, MLS senior vice president of properties and events, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled many of the league’s top players are joining our eMLS participants to compete and also provide benefit for those on the front lines. We are also thankful to FOX Sports and all of our partners for their collaboration on the innovative series that will be both fun to watch and make a difference.”
Each episode will feature four different clubs competing in a single-elimination format. Matchups will be contested over two legs, with the MLS players playing the first leg and the eMLS professional FIFA players competing in the second leg. The best aggregate score will determine the victor.
- Sunday, April 19: Chicago Fire FC vs. FC Cincinnati and LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (Winners to meet in Match 3)
- Sunday, April 26: Sporting KC (Kuzain & Alekzandur) vs. Minnesota United FC and D.C. United vs. New England Revolution (winners to meet in Match 3)
- Sunday, May 3: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC and FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo (winners to meet in Match 3)
- Sunday, May 10: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC and Atlanta United FC vs. Orlando City FC (winners to meet in Match 3)
- Sunday, May 17: Week 1 winner vs. Week 2 winner and Week 3 winner vs. Week 4 winner (winners to meet in championship)
The four winning teams from the first four episodes will qualify to participate in the eMLS Tournament Special final on Sunday, May 17 – where a champion will be crowned.
After each of the five episodes, MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and FOX Sports will make a donation on behalf of the winning club to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. A total of $50,000 will be donated to support frontline workers and feed vulnerable populations in the U.S. and Canada.
Who do you think will win?
Featured Image: MLS Soccer
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