Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
MLS made important changes to the playoff format, this time there will be nine qualifiers for each conference and series of up to three games will also be played, something similar to other sports disciplines in the United States. Therefore, the extra times and the shoot-outs from the penalty spot were left behind.
It should be noted that the 2023 MLS postseason will also feature the addition of a pair of single-elimination Wild Card Matches prior to the First Round, which will now include a 3-Game Series.
Following Decision Day (last day of the regular season) on October 21, the top seven teams from each conference will automatically qualify for the First Round 3-Game Series, while the bottom two teams from each conference will qualify for the Wild Card Game. of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs via direct elimination.
Advantages of the new playoff format in MLS
It is important to note that the new expanded format will offer many more must-win matches, as each matchup in the First Round 3-Game Series will have a winner and loser. With the addition of the Wild Card Matches and the First Round 3-Game Series, the playoffs will have up to a total of 24 games where there must be a victor prior to the final of the MLS Cup presented by Audi in 2023.which contrasts with the 12 games in 2022.
It should be noted that all the classified teams will have at least one game played at home, while those with the best score will have priority for the first games to be played.
Start of the MLS season and playoffs
The start of the new postseason format will start with two Wild Card Games and will begin on October 25 and 26 respectively, and the First Round 3-Game Series will be played between October 28 and November 12. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals will be played between November 25 and December 3. The final match of the Major League Soccer championship, MLS Cup presented by Audi, will be played on December 9.
However, the 2023 MLS season will begin this Saturday, February 25, with the game between Nashville SC against New York City. Meanwhile, In the afternoon, the main course will be played with “El Clásico de El Tráfico” from the mythical Rose Bowl with the LA Galaxy as host of LAFC.
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