eMLS Cup 2019

Espinoza heads to eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation

The 2019 edition of eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation, the premier eMLS event of the year, is slated to take place on March 30. After last year's tournament, which took place during the convention, this year's edition will feature a new PAX After Hours format, with the games set to take place at The Castle at Park Plaza in Boston following the conclusion of the day's activities at PAX East. 

How to watch and follow eMLS Cup 2019

Espinoza's Road to eMLS Cup

First-year Chicago Fire eMLS competitor Enrique Espinoza heads to his inaugural eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation looking to build off his performance at eMLS League Series Two in Dallas, where he collected five wins over Eastern Conference competition. Now, he'll get his first look at Western Conference foes to determine final seeding for Saturday's knockout stages. Competition kicks off at 3 PM CT on Friday, with 10 cross-conference matches on the docket. 

More to Watch For

There will be plenty of storylines to follow at this year's eMLS Cup. Reigning champ Kid M3mito of the Houston Dynamo will be out to defend his 2018 crown, but is likely to face a stiff challenge from all comers. Perhaps the biggest obstacle will be the Philadelphia Union's doolsta, who took home the trophy in both of the prior eMLS events this year, League Series One and League Series Two.

Prior to the streamed portion of the event, where the eMLS Cup champion will be crowned, all 22 eMLS players (each representing a different MLS team) will compete in one last regular season, where they will compete against opponents from the opposite conference for the first time. Once that regular season is finished, the top five players in each conference – based on their aggregated record from League Series One and Two plus the eMLS Cup regular season – will qualify for the next phase of the tournament. The remaining players will compete in a Last Chance Qualifying tournament, with the winner from each conference also moving on. Here are the standings heading into the eMLS Cup regular season:

Once the six finalists from each conference are determined, the final portion of the tournament will take place in two parts, both of which will be streamed. The first part will take place from 1:30 to 3:15 pm ET, and will see the four lowest qualifying seeds in each conference face off in intra-conference, single-elimination games. The two winners from each conference will join the top two seeds in the final stage of the tournament, which will take place in front of a live audience starting at 6 pm CT on Saturday.

At stake in the final stage is, of course, the chance at eMLS Cup glory, both for the players and their teams, not to mention a trophy and a cash prize. The winner will also receive 850 FIFA Global Series Points, which will position them to make the Global Series Playoffs. That, in turn, will give players the chance to qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup and be crowned the best FIFA player in the world.

Additionally, the top two eligible players will be selected to represent the United States at the inaugural eNations Cup, which starts in April and will be contested by 16 national teams.

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