And then there were eight. Both of last season’s MLS Cup finalists, Toronto FC and the champion Seattle Sounders, were knocked out in the MLS is Back Tournament’s round of 16, leaving a diverse field of quarterfinalists comprised of clubs vying for the Supporters’ Shield, along with one or two surprise packages for some added drama.
With just six matches remaining before the final on Aug. 11 (8 p.m. ET, stream live on ESPN), we look ahead to the quarterfinal matchups on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to tell the story of how the teams made it this far, and whether they’ll be able to continue their journey in Orlando.
For the first time all tournament, Philadelphia controlled the pace of play in their knockout-round win over New England, but its opponents created more shots and more shots on target — something that’s emerged as a theme from the Union’s play in Central Florida.