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Major League Soccer breaks Guinness World Record at Disney World

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Guinness World Records has recognized Major League Soccer (MLS) with the record for the largest single location professional soccer tournament for the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

Major League Soccer, MLS, MLS is Back, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Walt Disney World
Photos courtesy of Major League Soccer

After suspending the 2020 season due to COVID-19, MLS restarted its milestone 25th season on July 8, 2020, with clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament. Approximately 750 players and nearly 500 staff participated in the tournament that consisted of 51 matches in 35 days. The league also reimagined the soccer spectator experience, with thousands of fans participating in virtual fan parties from home.

“During a uniquely challenging time, MLS was able to bring soccer back safely,” said Mark Abbott, MLS president and deputy commissioner. “We are one game away from concluding this historic competition, yet we have already made history in many ways. This Guinness World Records title will forever be remembered because of the incredible teamwork of everyone involved in the MLS is Back Tournament.”

The tournament’s highly anticipated championship match between the Portland Timbers and Orlando City SC will be played on Aug. 11, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN, and TVA.

Major League Soccer, MLS, MLS is Back, Portland Timbers, Orlando City SC

During the 90-minute championship match, a professional artist representing each team will create a unique mural. Clubs will also work with their supporters to design a virtual Tifo that will be displayed on the video boards.

“What we really love about this new record title is that this is a large group or person event which is typically the sort of record title we would see when the world is not so crazy,” said Guinness World Record adjudicator Christina Conlon. “The fact that MLS was able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and form this bubble to keep everyone safe is something that’s both incredible and officially amazing.”

Click here for more information about the Guinness World Records title and the MLS is Back championship match.

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