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Rick Zamperin: Major League Soccer has created a buzz that other leagues have failed to do

Toronto FC teammates Jozy Altidore (17) and captain Michael Bradley (4) will figure prominently in the team's fortunes in the MLB is Back Tournament.
Toronto FC teammates Jozy Altidore (17) and captain Michael Bradley (4) will figure prominently in the team's fortunes in the MLB is Back Tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Major League Soccer held the draw for its ‘MLS is Back Tournament‘ on Thursday and the balls that came out of each bowl are going to give soccer fans something to cheer about.

That’s if the COVID-19 pandemic allows this thing to ever get off the ground.

There is no doubt in my mind that footy fans in Canada are pleased with how the draw went down.

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Toronto FC, one of the five seeded teams that will play in a group of four, has been slotted in Group C alongside their arch rivals, the Montreal Impact, as well as the New England Revolution and DC United.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are in Group B with the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Each group has at least one marquee rivalry, like LA FC and the LA Galaxy paired together in Group F, as well as the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati in Group E.

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What Major League Soccer has done a better job of than any of North America’s four major professional sports leagues in planning to return to play is create a buzz around their product with a live event.

The MLS draw obviously could not top the NFL draft, but that event had nothing to do with football’s return to play process.

Good on Major League Soccer for doing something out of the box in what has been an out of the box kinda year.

Vancouver Whitecaps resume individual training
Vancouver Whitecaps resume individual training

‘MLS is Back Tournament’ Groups

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Group A (Eastern Conference) – Orlando City SC, Inter Miami, New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, Nashville SC
Group B (Western Conference) – Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes
Group C (Eastern Conference) – Toronto FC, New England Revolution, Montreal Impact, DC United
Group D (Western Conference) – Real Salt Lake, Sporting KC, Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United
Group E (Eastern Conference) – Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew
Group F (Western Conference) – LA FC, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.