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MLS officially announce restart plan with Orlando tournament

The San Jose Earthquakes are back (in a matter of weeks).

MLS: Orlando City SC at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes have official plans to restart the 2020 season, after MLS announced Wednesday the plan to revive the league from the coronavirus shutdown.

As expected, the league confirmed widespread reports all 26 teams will head to Orlando, Florida for a centralized tournament as the restart event, with games beginning July 8 after a short acclimation/training camp run from the end of June.

Every team will play at least three games, with those games counting in the 2020 regular-season standings. Top finishers from the group stage will go on to a 16-team knockout phase, from July 25-28, with the winner of the overall competition earning a place in a future Concacaf Champions League tournament (the current 2020 edition of that competition remains on ice).

The tournament quarterfinal will be July 30-Aug. 1, the semifinals will be Aug. 5-6, and the final will be Aug. 11.

The draw for the group stage of the tournament will be held Thursday at 12:30 pm PT. The Earthquakes will play fellow Western Conference opponents in the group stage.

While the three-month break certainly wasn’t anticipated or likely welcome for the Earthquakes, the time off may give them a chance to reset, coming off a winless start to the season. While their opening-day 2-2 draw against Toronto FC at home was a rousing comeback that got the season off to a good start, their 5-2 loss at home to Minnesota United a week later was far more chastening, that game basically over well before halftime.

But here’s a chance to start almost fresh, and we’ll see if they can find the rhythm starting in Orlando. Obviously, we’ll be here to cover the Quakes each step of the way, so check back regularly for the latest news and analysis on the club.

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