[MLS SPOTLIGHT]MLS announced that total goals -- not goal differential -- will be used as the first tie-breaker if two teams are tied on points in the final 2012 regular-season standings.
Unlike previous seasons, head-to-head will not be used as a tie-breaker because teams do not play every opponent an equal number of times and some teams play others an odd number of times, meaning one team had an advantage in terms of the number of home games it played.
2) Goal Differential
3) Fewest Disciplinary Points
4) Road Goals
5) Road Goal Differential
6) Home Goals
7) Home Goal Differential
8) Coin Toss (2 teams) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)
The 2012 regular season concludes on Oct. 28, and the first round of the playoffs will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
The conference semifinals will take place Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 7-8.
The conference finals -- now two legs -- will be held Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18 -- sandwiching FIFA's Nov. 14 friendly fixture date.
MLS Cup 2012 will be played on Dec. 1 and hosted by the team with the most regular-season points.
It will mark the first time the MLS season has extended into December.