With the 2010 MLS regular season finished, the league turns its attention to the playoffs. Teams who qualified will play a home-and-home, aggregate-goal-format series against their opponents. After the conference finals, the MLS Cup Final is scheduled for Nov. 21 at Toronto FC's BMO Field
Real Salt Lake is the reigning champion.
Here's the full schedule:
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
No. 1 New York Red Bulls (15-9-6) vs. No. 4 San Jose Earthquakes (13-10-7)
Oct. 30, New York at San Jose 10 PM ET (TeleFutura)
Nov. 4, San Jose at New York 8 PM ET (ESPN2)
No. 2 Columbus Crew (14-8-8) vs. No. 3 Colorado Rapids (12-8-10)
Oct. 28, Columbus at Colorado 9 PM ET (ESPN2)
Nov. 6 Colorado at Columbus 4 PM ET (TeleFutura)
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
No. 1 Los Angeles Galaxy (18-7-5) vs. No. 4 Seattle Sounders (14-10-6)
Oct. 31, Los Angeles at Seattle 8 PM ET (ESPN2)
Nov. 7, Seattle at Los Angeles 9 PM (ESPN)
No. 2 Real Salt Lake (15-4-11) vs. No. 3 FC Dallas (12-4-14)
Oct. 30, Salt Lake at Dallas 5 or 5:30 PM ET (Fox Soccer Channel)
Nov. 6, Dallas at Salt Lake 10 PM (Fox Soccer Channel)
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Nov. 11 or 14, New York/San Jose vs. Columbus/Colorado
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Nov. 11 or 14, Los Angeles/Seattle vs. Salt Lake/Dallas
MLS CUP FINAL
Nov. 21, Eastern champion vs. Western champion at Toronto 8:30 PM (ESPN)
WHO QUALIFIES: Eight teams qualify for the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season. All 16 teams will have played 30 games.
- The top two teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1 & 2 in respective four-team playoff conference brackets.
- The four MLS teams with the next most points, regardless of conference, receive “wildcard” berths.
- The four wildcard teams will be seeded according to conference first.
- If more than four teams qualify from one conference, the team finishing lower than fourth in its conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.
- A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.
PLAYOFF FORMAT: Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team in the Conference Semifinal hosts the first game. The winners of those four series advance to single-game Conference Championships that will determine the MLS Cup finalists.
The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-home series advances to the single elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary. The team with the higher seed between the two Conference finalists will host the Conference Championship game.
In the case of ties after 90 minutes of regulation in the Eastern and Western Conference Championship games and MLS Cup, 30 minutes of extratime (divided into two 15-minute periods) is played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary, to determine the winners.