MLS Cup Playoff Schedule Released: Wildcards Will Play Midweek

TORONTO ON - NOVEMBER 21: Pablo Mastroeni #25 team Captain of the Colorado Rapids poses with the Philip F. Anschutz MLS Cup trophy following the MLS Cup final at BMO Field on November 21 2010 in Toronto Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Road to MLS Cup finals has gotten a little tougher for lower seeds.

When the expanded MLS Cup playoffs were announced, it was done so with the promise that the road to the finals would actually get more difficult despite more teams entering the end-of-season tournament. On Tuesday, we learned just how much harder. 

As many had long been speculating, the wildcard round of the revamped playoffs will take place midweek. This will mean that a wildcard team would have to play five games in the span of roughly two weeks in order to qualify for the MLS Cup finals. 

The other twist in the scheduling is that there will be a two-week break between the conference finals and the MLS Cup finals in order to accomodate international dates on Nov. 11-15. The MLS Cup finals will be played on Nov. 20 at the Home Depot Center.

If the playoff were to start today, this is how they would look:

Wild card games, Oct. 26-27: Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake

Conference semifinal, first leg, Oct. 29-30: Los Angeles Galaxy at lowest wild card; Columbus Crew at other wild card; FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders; and Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls

Conference semifinal, second leg, Nov. 2-3: Lowest wild card at Galaxy; other wild card at Crew; Sounders at FCD; Red Bulls at Union

Conference championship, Nov. 5-6: Hosted by higher seed, single elimination

MLS Cup finals, Nov. 20: At Home Depot Center, single game

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