MLS revamps playoff format for 2019 season

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Fourteen teams will make up the revised postseason field, up from 12 this year in a nod to the league's continued expansion – Los Angeles FC joined the league in 2018 and Cincinnati will compete for the first time next term.

The top seed from each conference will get a bye in the first round and will face the winner of the clash between the fourth and fifth seeds in the conference semi-finals.

Teams will not be re-seeded based on upsets during postseason matches, as they have in the past, and the higher seed will be the host in each round, offering a greater reward for their regular-season performance.

By eliminating two-legged matches in the conference semi-finals and finals, the more streamlined bracket will fit entirely between FIFA's October and November international breaks.

The 2019 regular season will conclude on 7 October (AEDT), about three weeks earlier than in 2018, with the playoffs set to start on October 19.

A date of November 10 has been set for the MLS Cup, which was played on December 8 this year.


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