Playoffs - 2019 - playoff announcement - primary image

MLS announces new playoff format for 2019 season

The Audi MLS Cup playoffs are undergoing a big change, starting in 2019.

The playoffs will now consist of a fixed-bracket, single-elimination format with the higher seed hosting every match.  

The Bracket

In 2019, 14 of the league's 24 teams will qualify for the postseason, up from 12 in 2018.

Only one team per conference will be given a first-round bye, while the higher-seeded clubs will host all matches, further emphasizing regular season excellence.  

Furthermore, there will be no reseeding, so if the No. 7 seed upsets the No. 2 seed, they'll still play the winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6 irrespective of the other results. 

The Schedule

The playoffs will wrap up earlier than in previous years, with the entirety of the bracket being played out between the October and November FIFA international breaks. In 2019, following Decision Day on Oct. 6, the first playoff matches will be played on Oct. 19 with MLS Cup taking place on Nov. 10. Although the regular season will end earlier than in previous years, it will still start at the beginning of March, with the 2019 campaign slated to begin on March 2.

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