Major League Soccer’s confusing format

November 2, 2023
November 2, 2023

Are you enjoying the Major League Soccer playoffs, or are you just a bit perplexed? If you find yourself leaning towards the latter, don't worry - we're here to provide a quick refresher as we find ourselves right in the midst of the first round of games. And yes, I do mean to use the plural there...

Before we dive into the excitement of Round 1, it's essential to remember that there was a play-in round preceding it. In this round, the 8th and 9th placed teams in each conference battled for the right to advance to the playoffs proper. So, as your arithmetic suggests, a total of 18 teams successfully qualified for the post-season.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. Major League Soccer has decided to try something new just because they can. In Round One, it's a best-of-three series. The first team to secure two wins advances to the Conference Semifinals. In the event of a draw at the end of any of the three games, it goes straight to penalties after 90 minutes, ensuring there will always be a winner.

After Round One, the playoffs take a more conventional turn. The teams will face a single-elimination Conference Semifinal, followed by a Conference Final, leading up to the grand final on December 9th. It's worth noting that the highest-ranked side will have the honor of hosting the final match.

With this innovative format, the Major League Soccer playoffs promise excitement, drama, and intense competition for soccer fans across the nation. Whether you're a seasoned follower of the sport or a newcomer, the revamped playoff structure ensures that every moment counts, and you can expect to witness some unforgettable matches as the road to the championship unfolds. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the thrilling journey through the Major League Soccer playoffs!