Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal also authored this report

Further details about the competition format for Major League Soccer’s return-to-play proposal are starting to emerge, as are details about the potential for an abbreviated regular season and pay cuts for players.  

As previously reported, MLS is attempting to return from its COVID-19 suspension by bringing all 26 teams to Orlando, Fla., for a tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports athletic complex. Should the tournament go forward, the working plan is for teams to be split into four groups, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the proposal. Two of the groups would consist of teams from the Eastern Conference, and two would consist of teams from the Western Conference, with Nashville SC temporarily switching from West to East.

Under that plan, which has not yet been finalized, defending U.S. Open Cup winners Atlanta United, MLS Cup winners Seattle Sounders and…

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