The MLS Cup trophy arrived in Toronto on Wednesday.
Getty Images

MLS reveals new set of standings tiebreakers for '12 season

NEW YORK — It's all about the goals in MLS. Literally.

The league announced on Wednesday a new wrinkle to its playoff format that will be implemented this season, honoring goals scored as the first tiebreaker when two or more teams are even on points in the standings.

In fact, goals scored currently has the Houston Dynamo (35 goals scored) ahead of Sporting Kansas City (28 goals scored) atop the Eastern Conference, although both clubs are tied on 40 points.

Total goals scored was only the third tiebreaker last season with head-to-head record and goal differential taking precedence. In fact, head-to-head record was the first criteria used to rank teams tied on points in 2011, but it became less relevant with the switch to an unbalanced, conference-based schedule.

The league's Board of Governors approved the following new set of tiebreakers to be used beginning with the current 2012 season "in part to encourage attacking play," according to a league statement:

1) Most total goals scored
2) Greatest goal differential
3) Fewest disciplinary points
4) Most road goals scored
5) Greatest road goal differential
6) Most home goals scored
7) Greatest home goal differential
8) Coin toss (for 2 teams) or drawing of lots (3 or more teams)

Topics: 

LA Galaxy gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for LA Galaxy jerseys, shirts, hats, hoodies and more.


Philadelphia Union gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Philadelphia Union jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


Real Salt Lake gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 RSL jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


San Jose Earthquakes gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Quakes jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.


Houston Dynamo gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for the new 2018 Dynamo jersey plus hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


D.C. United gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 D.C. United jerseys, shirts, hats, hoodies and more.


Colorado Rapids gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Rapids jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


FC Dallas gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 FC Dallas jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


Chicago Fire gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Chicago Fire jerseys, shirts, hats, hoodies and more.


Seattle Sounders gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Sounders jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


Portland Timbers gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Timbers jerseys, shirts, hats, hoodies and more.


New England Revolution gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Revs jerseys, hats, hoodies, shirts and more.


Columbus Crew SC gear | mlsstore.com

Shop mlsstore.com for 2018 Crew SC jerseys, shirts, hats, hoodies and more.