2012 MLS Cup Playoffs: Schedule and preview

mlssoccer.com

The MLS Cup Playoffs are upon us with a slight wrinkle in the way they are formatted. Here's your guide to the festivities.

As MLS is wont to do, the playoff format has been switched up ever so slightly for the 2012 season. Unlike in years past, there are five teams from each conference. The two lowest seeds will play in what is being called the "knockout round" for a chance to play the team with the conference's best record in the conference semifinals.

The other significant changes are that the conference finals are now two legs as opposed to one and that the MLS Cup Final will be played at the home of the team with the best record. Here's how the playoffs shake out:

KNOCKOUT ROUND

Date | Time Home Away Info
Oct 31 | 9:00 ET Chicago Fire Houston Dynamo ESPN2/Deportes | TSN2 | RDS2
Nov 1 | 10:30 ET LA Galaxy Vancouver Whitecaps NBCSN | UNI DEP | TSN | RDS2

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Date Home Away Info
Nov 4 | 3:30 ET
Leg 1
East KO Winner Sporting Kansas City NBC
Nov 7 | 9:00 ET
Leg 2
Sporting Kansas City East KO Winner MLS LIVE | Direct Kick
Nov 3 | 8:00 ET
Leg 1
New York Red Bulls D.C. United NBCSN | RDS2
Nov 7 | 8:00 ET
Leg 2
D.C. United New York Red Bulls NBCSN | TSN2 | RDS2
Date Home Away Info
Nov 4
Leg 1
West KO Winner San Jose Earthquakes TV TBD
Nov 7
Leg 2
San Jose Earthquakes West KO Winner TV TBD
Nov 2 | 10:00 ET
Leg 1
Seattle Sounders Real Salt Lake NBCSN
Nov 8 | 9:30 ET
Leg 2
Real Salt Lake Seattle Sounders TV TBD

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Date Home Away Info
Nov 10
Leg 1
East - Lower Seed East - Higher Seed NBC
Nov 17 or 18
Leg 2
East - Higher Seed East - Lower Seed TV TBD
Date Home Away Info
Nov 11 or 12
Leg 1
West - Lower Seed West - Higher Seed TV TBD
Nov 17 or 18
Leg 2
West - Higher Seed West - Lower Seed TV TBD

MLS CUP

Date Home Away Info
Dec 1, 4:30 pm ET TBD TBD ESPN | Telefutura | TSN | RDS
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