By FRANCO PANIZO
We do not know just yet all of the teams that will be participating in the MLS playoffs this year, but we do know the schedule.
MLS announced on Tuesday the fixtures dates and format for the 2014 postseason. It is the same format as last year’s playoffs but there are minor adjustments, including the removal of the bye week between the two legs of the conference finals that was heavily criticized in 2013.
The playoffs begin with the Conference Knockout games on Oct. 29-30, and end with the MLS Cup final on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.
There will still be a break to accommodate the international FIFA dates that run from Nov. 14-18, but it will take place after the conference semifinals and before the conference finals. This will mark the first time playoff games will be held the weekend after Thanksgiving, which will allow for more weekend games than in the past.
The format remains the same, as the conference semifinals and finals will be determined by an aggregate score after two legs. The knockout games and championship bout are just one match.
Currently, the only two teams to book their places in the postseason are the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy.
Here is the full 2014 MLS playoffs format and schedule:
2014 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS FORMAT
- The fourth- and fifth-place teams will play a single knockout game, and the winner will advance to the conference semifinals and face the first-place team in the conference;
- The conference semifinals will be decided by a two-game, aggregate-goal format;
- The conference championships will be decided by a two-game, aggregate-goal format;
- MLS Cup will be hosted by the finalist that finished the regular season with the most points in the standings
2014 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS DATES
Conference Knockout Round
- Wed-Thurs, Oct. 29-30
- Leg 1, Sat-Sun, Nov. 1-2
- Leg 2, Sat-Sun, Nov. 8-9
- Leg 1, Sat-Sun, Nov. 22-23
- Leg 2, Sat-Sun., Nov. 29-30
MLS Cup Final
- 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7
Like the adjusted schedule ? Think there is still room for improvement? Would you have made any other changes?
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