In a little more than two weeks the Minnesota United will take to the pitch for the return of the Major League Soccer season, but plans are now in place to have the Loons take on the Columbus Crew in a friendly on July 5.
It'll serve as an exhibition, a warm-up so to speak, before the Loons begin tournament play against Sporting Kansas City on July 12. All competition when the MLS season resumes will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The friendly will be played in Orlando, though it won't be televised or streamed.
The United got off to a 2-0 start before the coronavirus upended the regular season, so the return to competitive play will be in the form of a MLS is Back Tournament. All 26 teams will compete in the tournament before the league hopes it can move games back to each team's home city later this summer.
The tournament kicks off on July 8, with teams split into groups of six, with each team playing 3 group games over a 16-day period. The results of these games will count towards overall MLS regular season standings when it resumes later in the year.
The top two teams from each group, plus four third-place teams with the best record, will advance to a round of 16 held July 25-28, starting a knockout series that culminates with the tournament final on Aug. 11.
Minnesota is in Group D and will will play three games between July 12-22.
- July 12 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPN & SKOR North)
- July 17 vs. Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. CT (ESPN & SKOR North)
- July 22 vs. Colorado Rapids, 9:30 p.m. CT (ESPN & SKOR North)