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:
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