Explaining the MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket


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Here's a primer to help blow apart your soccer hymen. They do things a bit differently in the MLS…

The Union will face the Houston Dynamo today in the first game of a best-of-two series (sort of). After two games, the team with the most goals advances.

Well, Kyle, what if they're tied after two games? I thought you'd never ask. Here are the official MLS tiebreaker rules:

The four Conference Semifinals will be decided by two-game aggregate series, with the lower seed hosting the first leg and the higher seed hosting the second leg. If the aggregate score is tied after 180 minutes of play, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary. The two Conference Championships will be single games hosted by the higher seed. MLS Cup will again be a single championship match hosted at a predetermined site to be announced at a later date.

Those overtime periods are not sudden death, they are two full 15-minute periods. If there is no winner, there will be penalty kicks. The conference championship is one game, played on November 6, and the MLS Cup championship is also one game, which will take place on November 20 in Los Angeles. That's it. Different, but simple.

Today's game is at 5 PM on ESPN 2, perfect timing to roll you right into the Eagles game. DOOP.


19 Responses

  1. It’s soccer. You can’t play forever. If you are up at like 200 minutes, the integrity of the game will be ruined. Guys would be exhausted and it would be terrible. I do agree that shootouts are kind of lame, but what else could you do?
    GO U!!

  2. Enough with the soccer stuff, 95% of your readers couldn’t give a rats ass about soccer. This is America.

  3. A hockey game may have more hitting, but not more moving. The field is much larger and soccer players run way more. A majority of players are dead tired after 90 minutes. There are very very few who can even run after the first half of extras. If you watch the second half of extras in any competitive match you’ll understand exactly why PK’s are a necessary evil. It gets real sloppy all over the field. The only one who can still play at full speed is the keeper so scoring becomes less and less likely as you go on.

  4. FYI – Keep up the soccer stuff Kyle. If the readers don’t like it… they don’t have to read it. There are more people interested than you think. Thanks!
    GO U!

  5. As a Son of Ben and a two year season ticket holder, even I have a hard time justifying the playoff structure to non MLS/soccer fans.

  6. Soccer is terrible, fucking terrible. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz to the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. Well, I’ll root for the Union, even if I don’t understand how MLS does their playoffs. Should be interesting.

  8. It is ridiculous to compare soccer overtime to hockey overtime for the playoffs. In hockey, the games are 60 minutes long and players only play a maximum of about 25 minutes of that, in 1-2 minute shifts, and they also have 3 breaks of 20 minutes (if it goes to ot). In soccer you can only make 3 subs and you get one 15 minute break at the half and only 5 minutes i believe before over time. so in a full overtime game in the mls, 8 players on each side run for a full 120 minutes with 25 minutes rest and in a 6 ot hockey game, a player will be on the ice for 75 minutes with 105 minutes of game rest time and about 120 minutes of intermission time. It’s not even comparable. soccer should end in a shootout.

  9. Why are soccer haters such aholes? The Beautiful Game is the best, in my opinion. No need to trash it if you don’t understand it.

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