MLS Playoffs

MLS announces Dec. 10 MLS Cup, full postseason schedule


For the first time in the league’s 21-year history, the MLS Cup will take on primetime Saturday night.

MLS announced on Tuesday that the 2016 MLS Cup will be televised on FOX broadcast network, UniMás, TSN and RDS on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. For the first time since 2008, the MLS Cup will air live on English-language network TV. The match will also represent the first MLS Cup televised by Fox.

In addition, the league announced that the MLS Playoffs will begin on Oct. 26-27 following the conclusion of the regular season on Oct. 23.

The playoff format will be the same as the one implemented last season, which features six teams per conference qualifying for the postseason. The bottom four seeds in each conference will collide in one-off matches, as the third seed takes on the sixth seed while seed four takes on seed five. The winners of those matches will take on the top two teams in their conference in a series of two-legged clashes in the conference semifinals.

After observing the international break between Nov. 7-16, conference championships will resume between Nov. 20 and Nov. 30. The two conference champions will then collide for the MLS Cup at the home venue of the team with the best regular season record.

Here’s a closer look at the entire playoff schedule:


Tuesday, Oct. 26 (times TBD)

Game 1: ESPN2 & UniMás

Game 2UniMás

Wednesday, Oct. 27 (times TBD)

Game 1: FS1 & UniMás

Game 2UniMás


Sunday, Oct. 30         

3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

5 p.m. ET (ESPN)

7 p.m. ET (FS1)

9:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

Sunday, Nov. 6

3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

5 p.m. ET (ESPN)

7:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

10 p.m. ET (FS1)


Sunday, Nov. 20       

Western Conference Championship Leg 1 (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

Tuesday, Nov. 22

Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET

Sunday, Nov. 27 

Western Conference Championship Leg 2 (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET)

Wednesday, Nov. 30  

Eastern Conference Championship Leg 2 (FS1, 7 p.m. ET)


Saturday, Dec. 10   

2016 MLS Cup (FOX, UniMás, TSN, RDS, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    That could be a cold, cold, cold final in some spots. It’s fine, but I would like to see a shorter reg season, longer playoffs and finish around Thanksgiving.


  • Beto

    not bad. Eastern Conference semi’s on Tuesday and Wednesday instead of weekends are odd. also there are consistent Sunday games and then the switch to a Saturday final. Saturday is better imo (more nfl crossover fans/stadiums than ncaa imo)

    got to like the big game on regular Fox, and all of the other games on ESPN/FS1 and not during the international break. speaking of ncaa throwball – Dec 10 is that weekend after conference championships and before the early bowl games – good date for MLS Cup, tv-wise.

    fitting the playoffs into the end of the year is always going to be difficult with throwball, weather, international games, etc to deal with.


  • Just sayin'

    I would like to see 5 teams from each conference go through with the top team from each conference waiting at the conference final and the remaining four having the 2nd vs 4th, 3rd vs 5th play a one game play off the winners playing a 2 game series to meet the number 1 seed. Playing those games in 9 days.


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