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Playoff qualification, tiebreakers

Playoffs - 2018 - generic primary image

 At the end of the 2018 MLS Regular Season, the top six teams from each conference (12 teams total), will qualify for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

TEAM-STANDINGS TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES: The team awarded the highest position in the MLS standings will be the team with the greatest number of points (three points for a win, one point for a tie, zero points for a loss). In the event that two or more teams finish the regular season with an equal number of points, the following system will be used to break the tie:

  1. Total number of wins
  2. Goal Differential (GD)
  3. Goals For (GF)
  4. Fewest Disciplinary Points* - MLS Disciplinary Points 2018
  5. Away Goals Differential
  6. Away Goal For
  7. Home Goals Differential
  8. Home Goal For
  9. Coin Toss (tie of two clubs) or Drawing of Lots (tie of three or more clubs)

When two or more teams are tied in the standings on points, the above tiebreakers will be used until one team ranks ahead of the other(s).

After the winner of the MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker advances, any remaining tied clubs not advancing from the first round MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker shall again, go through a second round MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker in order to determine the next advancing club. The MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker system will continue until qualification/seeding has been determined.

* Fewest Disciplinary Points illustration:

In this example, when the three clubs go through the first round of the MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker, Team A advances as it has the most "Goals For (Tiebreaker No. 3)." The remaining tied clubs, Team B and Team C, then go through a second round MLS Regular Season Tiebreaker, wherein Team B next advances as the club with the best "Total Wins (Tiebreaker No. 1).

Team A4515118400
Team B4515114300
Team C4515107200

* Disciplinary Points are calculated as follows:

1 Point
Yellow Card
3 Points
2nd Yellow Card
7 Points*
Straight Red Card
7 Points
Coach Dismissal
7 Points
Any Supplemental Discipline**
8 Points