MLS PLAYOFFS: How they work

Because MLS has created a playoff system unique to anything we've seen elsewhere, here's a review of how the series are settled: ò Quarterfinal and semifinal series consist of a maximum of three games, two of which the higher seeded team would host (if a third game is necessary). ò During the series, teams accumulate points as they do in the regular season: win = 3 points, tie = 1 point, loss = 0 points. ò The standard 10-minute, sudden-death overtime will be played following EACH game if the score is tied after regulation time. ò The winner of the series will be the first team to reach or exceed five points within the three games, i.e., two wins - 6 points; or a win and two ties - 5 points. ò Should the series remain even on points following regulation or overtime of the third game (3-3, or 4-4), the two clubs will move directly to an additional 20-minute golden-goal overtime period (two 10-minute halves) -- a "mini-game." If neither team scores during the 20-minute period, the game will be decided on penalty kicks according to FIFA regulations.
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