Major League Soccer’s New Playoff Format Is a Winner

Major League Soccer unveiled its much-improved playoff format for the 2011 season. 

Not only does it address the major criticisms of the previous playoff format, it increases the importance of regular season games, increasing interest across stratified levels, something MLS has been sorely lacking, and will lead to more competition deep into the season and increased fan interest. 


2011 Major League Soccer Playoff Format

The top three teams in each conference gain an automatic berth.  The next four best teams gain wildcard berths.  The wildcard teams play a seeded one-off game to qualify for the final eight team playoff bracket.

Essentially, it's an eight team tournament, with six guaranteed spots, and a four team play-in. 

This is not only a major improvement; it's a clear winner on several levels. 

It addresses the major criticisms of the previous playoff format, wh...

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