By DAN KARELL
The 2013 Major League Soccer regular season is complete, and boy did it finish with a bang.
For the first time ever, the New York Red Bulls won a major trophy, taking the Supporters Shield title and with it, a chance to host the MLS Cup final at Red Bull Arena as well as a place in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.
Following their loss to Toronto FC last Saturday, the Montreal Impact were on the edge of missing the playoffs despite their large lead in the Eastern Conference earlier in the season, though they were saved while the New England Revolution, and Houston Dynamo move on as well. The Colorado Rapids’ defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders’ draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy leave Sigi Schmid’s club in the mid-week knockout game against the Rapids.
Considering the up and down form of many teams that have qualified for the postseason, it should create an exciting and unpredictable next round of games.
Here’s a closer look at the complete MLS playoffs schedule:
MLS PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE (Team written first is host) (All times Eastern)
Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids – 10:30pm – NBC Sports Network
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact – 8:30pm – NBC Sports Network
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS FIRST LEG
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City – 8pm – NBC Sports Network
(Sounders or Rapids) vs. Portland Timbers – 10pm – NBC Sports Network
(Dynamo or Impact) vs. New York Red Bulls – 3:30pm – NBC
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake – 9pm – ESPN
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS SECOND LEG
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6
New York Red Bulls vs. (Dynamo or Impact) – 8pm – Univision Deportes
Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution – 9pm – Local TV
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles Galaxy – 9pm – ESPN2
Portland Timbers vs. (Sounders or Rapids) – 11pm – NBC Sports Network
CONFERENCE FINALS FIRST LEG
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Eastern Conference game – 2:30pm – NBC
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Western Conference game – 9pm – ESPN
CONFERENCE FINALS SECOND LEG
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
To Be Determined
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
To Be Determined
MLS CUP 2013
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7
Eastern Conference finalist vs. Western Conference finalist – 4pm – ESPN/UniMas
What do you think of this schedule? Which teams do you see having the best path to MLS Cup?
Share your thoughts below.
The whole point of a tournament is to test depth. The team that wins mls cup should be the best team, not the best 3 dps and some filler who only play when well rested. I’m glad there isn’t a week of rest between matches.
The odd thing is that everyone seems to love promotion relegation but a tournament that tests how complete a team is gets totally poo pooed. Some people only complain I guess.
Am I the only one that loves that LOGO? Why can’t the MLS Shield be of a similar design and color scheme? I just want some one doing a bicycleor that Patrick Ianni side volley where that trophy is. Am I asking too much?
MLS is punishing us for finally winning, wtf.
Red Bulls better hope that Montreal beats Houston and New England knocks off KC. That would keep their travel to a minimum and eliminate time zone changes. Otherwise, they have to fly half way across the country four times in a week (to/from Houston, to/from KC). Either way, the only real advantage Red Bulls have is that their first game will be against a presumably tired team who just played a must-win Thursday night. They need to win by multiple goals away to make the home mid-week game meaningless.
NYRB will lose either Wednesday or the second Sunday regardless of how they good they are. No team has the bench to field an entirely new team in the playoffs.
Just. Utter. Nonsense.
Why? They get a whole week off to rest and Timbers have the same situation. I think it’s phenomenal. Go and sneak a draw or a 1-0, 2-1 win if possible. NY and PTFC are hottest teams in the league, coming off 5-2 home and 5-0 away wins respectively. I think it’s perfect, you always want home field advantage in the last leg and the first leg is advantage better record with longer rest.
I don’t get the bickering on this aspect of MLS.
Whole week off where?
They have 3 games in 7 days!
So let me get this straight, RBNY as the first seed first needs to go away (to a team that just won a play-in game) and play a weekend away game on a Sunday, then comes home to play mid-week on a Wednesday, and IF they survive that, then go away AGAIN to play on Saturday? 3 games in seven days, two of them away?
What advantage is that? Congrats on winning the supporters shield, no go play two away games in a week, oh and by the way you only get a mid-week game at home.
Damnit… MLS Cup is during an annual Christmas party I always get dragged to. Going to be sick that night I feel it coming on now.
So many complaints and so few concrete proposals. Most comments are along the lines of “I understand …., but they need to have a better schedule”. Yesterday, most people were complaining about a possible switch to play through the FIFA window. I am sure they are not amateurs and are just trying to do their best given all the constraints (in no particular order: TV contracts, travel schedule, trying to be fair to all teams, logistics of stadium availability in Seattle and NE, FIFA dates and most of all the fact that 95% of the country hate soccer and 75% of the other 5% hate or are at best indifferent to MLS).
I proposed a schedule above and 95% of the country does not hate soccer. This is amateur and embarassing.
You did propose one. That’s why I said “most”, not “all”. I am fine with your schedule by the way. But you know how it is. People would have complained that there are too many midweek games that they can’t make and that off-season is too long. No matter what they do a lot of comments are “MLS is a joke”, “MLS schedule is silly”. People need to appreciate that they are working with so many constraints relative to most other countries who don’t have to worry about much competition from other sports or worry about bad attendance if the weather is not perfect or if it’s a weekday.
So many complaints and so few concrete proposals. Most comments are along the lines of “I understand …., but they need to have a better schedule”. Yesterday, most people were complaining about a possible switch to play through the FIFA window. I am sure they are not idiots and are just trying to do their best given all the constraints (in no particular order: TV contracts, travel schedule, trying to be fair to all teams, logistics of stadium availability in Seattle and NE, FIFA dates and most of all the fact that 95% of the country hate soccer and 75% of the other 5% hate or are at best indifferent to MLS).
I concur with almost all of the sentiments here that this schedule is absurd (and also that it was probably impossible to change at the last minute after the earlier decision to accommodate the FIFA window – both as a practical matter, and as a matter of risking looking even MORE absurd).
I’d note also that some genius in the fine-tuning department made a nice choice for the Timbers’ first home playoff match on Thursday, November 7th … which could very easily be against Seattle, best rivalry in the league in front of the best supporters in the league … going with an 8:00 pm Pacific Time start when the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal will be starting their college football game at 6:00 pm on another network. Talk about sacrificing your best possible attention-getting match in the first round by televising it directly against one of the biggest college football games being played in November. Genius!!
Yep, just off loaded my TA season playoff tix for face value to some people who luckily hadn’t got their’s yet. Sh!t, I can’t believe the hubris of MLS thinking there are more Timbers than Ducks fans. Schedule that game on a Wednesday? The town is just crazy hopping with Timbers fans loading up city’s restaurants and bars one night and then again the next. Unbelievable, I am so angry right now.
It’s only mid-day, I’m sitting at work, and I just realized the comment system has changed back to the old way with newest posts at the bottom.
Although I don’t work for SBI and haven’t done much today yet at work, I strangely feel accomplished.
i think we all deserve a well-earned raise!
The MLS Playoff system continues to be a joke. There is no advantage to getting first or second in your conference. If anything, it puts you at a disadvantage in many instances. The idea of “home-field advantage” by playing the second leg at home is insane. Play one game at the higher seed and make it worth something to do better in the regular season.
This season, the four highest seeds have to play on the road for the first leg on either Saturday or Sunday, and play the “advantageous” second leg during the middle of the week. What kind back-asswards system would find that advantageous? Has anyone in the league office ever witnessed a midweek game? Do they understand most people have M-F jobs? Do they not notice gate attendance at these games are nothing compared to weekend fixtures?
It’s a stupid system, and only continues to get worse. I’d expect nothing less from the Garber. Here’s to defecating on the regular season yet again
The powers that be in charge of MLS need to make a change to the scheduling immediately. The playoff schedule is atrocious to say the least. I understand you don’t want to compete w NFL/College football but this is just amazingly terrible scheduling. If the younger audience and other fans can’t tune in to the “most important” time of the season that diminishes the whole season. The too late east coast start times, the two week gap etc is junior varsity…along with the terrible NBA now starting (which MLS has the potential to surpass if they don’t continue this moronic scheduling etc), the NFL and NHL in full swing it makes it too easy to shrug the MLS aside, especially if you’re a neutral, whose MLS team is out of it. I’d like to watch these games but being on the east coast some of the fixtures are just on too late. The league won’t be as successful as it could be alienating the whole east coast. By the time 4:00pm on SATURDAY, December 7th rolls around only two markets will actually care/be aware of a final being played. As a MLS fan this is embarrassing as in only the leagues fault. The same situation happened last year. This can’t continue and should be changed starting next season if not immediately.
(this is embarrassing “and is” only the leagues fault). Don’t be shocked when a re-run of duck dynasty has more people watching it then the MLS final. ugh. just when I thought the league has made some very good progress this puts it right back it’s place of mediocrity. Now they want 2 additional franchises in the state of Florida?! The mecca of true sports fans that actually care/attend/watch their local teams?? ha. yeah, talk to me in 10 years when at least one, if not both teams are averaging 5,000-10,000 people/game. That’s not good for the sport in the US or the league. C’mon now people.
WTF is this schedule?!?!?!?!?
4 playoff games in less than 2 weeks time?!?!?
Good god MLS. You’re a FREAKING JOKE.
It’s the playoffs… not time for whiny, sissy babies.
And we have winning whiner.
How about this…Red Bulls win the Supporters Shield, have to go on the road Nov. 3rd, host a game on the 6th, then (pending they advance) go back on the road on the 9th!!! So that’s 3 games in 6-7 days. Say they survive a tough 1st round, then are so depleted they get crushed in the 1st leg of the conference championship and it’s over before they know it. Just a hypothetical example of course and I’m not even a RB fan but that is totally unfair.
Agreed, a complete lack of understanding about this game. Both top teams in the east have to travel twice and then host midweek matches. Absolutely clueless clods in charge here.
‘Tis better to be a 3-seed in MLS Playoffs. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say it’s amazing how that benefits the Galaxy…..
Yeah, a 3-seed gets to play first at home on the weekend, then go away mid-week, and then get to play at home again on the weekend.
Bet now on the Galaxy and Revs.
Plus, they would have to travel to get to all 3 of those games, while the Dynamo (if they beat the Impact of course) would NOT have to travel for the 1st leg of the Dynamo / Red Bulls matchup. Like you, not a NYRB fan, but still … ouch.
As a Dynamo fan, I’d say traveling to Houston hasn’t hurt NYRB yet this year…
Well, hey, after playing 3 games in 7 days, then they can wait all the way until the 24th to finish it off. Stupid.
Look for some ugly 0-0 draws as teams just look to survive and not get their legs killed. Honestly, if you are RBNY, do you even dare putting out the same starting lineup for 3 games in 7 days? They’d have nothing left.
Screwed me again MLS, have to miss the Weds night SKC home game.
Same thing happened last year.
They should really check grad class schedule beforehand 😉
You could miss class?
Uhhh also, what about all the people across the country that want to watch SKC vs New England at Sporting Park. This is a slap to kansas City fans’ face, just like the coverage (or lack thereof) of SKC in any articles on this site and MLS site.
Listen to Ives’ podcast. He’s waving the SKC flag big time. He’s drooling like Homer Simpson over that defense.
Class is optional, the Playoffs are not.
Totally ridiculous schedule, cramming four games into 10-11 days potentially, then 2 weeks in between legs of the conferences finals, then two more weeks off before MLS cup. It’s like MLS gave zero thought to scheduling the playoffs when it created its schedule this season. Everyone knew there was an international break during this period.
They should have had a couple of more midweek games during the regular season and wrapped it up before the October international break. Then between the October and November international breaks, have the playoffs except for the final, and then have the final on Nov. 23rd.
Maybe they didn’t think it through but tv is now scheduled for weeks in advance so they might not have been able to turn the aircraft carrier if they wanted to, at this point.
FWIW, for many teams it may be academic. Most of the MLS teams will be eliminated and those that aren’t, Klinsi may leave the players in the playoffs. Our games are friendlies in Europe for which we have already called up a teenager. You’re acting like they’re calling people out of playoff teams for clinching qualifiers and they’re generally not. I’ll be interested how many players are actually impacted. Are there any Mexican internationals left? Kiwis (the backup guy in Portland maybe)? Europeans in their playoffs not already retired? Tempest in teapot.
I’m not acting like anything. I don’t think international callups would’ve had that big an impact. I’d note that Australia has a friendly and they’d be entitled to call up Cahill, although maybe they wouldn’t. My point is MLS had time to plan for this and this last minute stuff is amateur and unecessary.
It’s also silly to cram all of these games into so short a period of time, then have a month to play just the second legs of the conference finals and MLS cup.
MLS’ idiocy stays strong
So i guess they didnt go with idea to bump the midweek games to weekend and move into FIFA dates?
I hope the Impact brought their kayaks.