REAL SALT LAKE

MLS To Revamp Playoff Format

Dec 17, 2018, 2:27 PM | Updated: 3:43 pm
A view of the MLS cup held up by Josef Martinez #7 of Atlanta United after their 2-0 win over the P...
A view of the MLS cup held up by Josef Martinez #7 of Atlanta United after their 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers during the 2018 MLS Cup between Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Big changes are coming to Major League Soccer’s playoff format.

Effective for the 2019 season, the MLS Cup Playoffs will consist of a single elimination straight-bracket format, rather than any sort of two-game aggregate format that has been seen in the past. The number of quaiflying teams will expand from 12 to 14, seven in each conference with the top see receiving a first round bye.

The new format is intended to reward teams for their regular season play with a greater emphasis on home field advantage.

The new format will also help MLS end its season a month earlier, with the finals scheduled for November 10.

Last season, Real Salt Lake took advantage of the old format as the No. 6 and final seed in the Western Conference. They advanced to the aggregate round series with a road win over LAFC in the knockout stage. They then fell to Sporting Kansas City in the second round with a tie in the first game and a loss in the second.

The 2019 MLS season will kick off on March 2.

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