MLS Cup Playoffs 2019: What you need to know about the new format, bracket, schedule and more


The playoff field for Major League Soccer is all set. The MLS Cup Playoffs begin on after the international break on Saturday, Oct. 19 and there will be six games in total over the weekend, leaving us with the last eight teams come Monday. An all-new format in the playoffs means teams will have to play with much more urgency, and there is no coming back from a defeat as two-leg ties are a thing of the past. Here's everything you need to know about the playoffs including the new format, the schedule, how to watch and more.

What's the new format like?

This time around, seven teams from each conference make the playoffs, and the No. 1 seed receives a first-round bye, joining in during the conference semifinals, which is pretty much the quarterfinals. 

There are no two-leg affairs. In previous seasons, we had seen two legs in both the conference semifinals and conference finals. Last postseason, fans were treated to 17 games. The new format this time around is single elimination, which cuts it down to only 13 games. Simply put, it's win or go home time. 

What about the bracket and seeds?

Here's a look at the bracket:

The seeds go as following:

Eastern Conference:

  1. New York City FC
  2. Atlanta United FC
  3. Philadelphia Union
  4. Toronto FC
  5. D.C. United
  6. New York Red Bulls
  7. New England Revolution

Western Conference:

  1. Los Angeles FC
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. Real Salt Lake 
  4. Minnesota United FC
  5. Los Angeles Galaxy
  6. Portland Timbers
  7. FC Dallas

All games on Fox networks and Univision networks can be streamed via fuboTV  (Try for free).

First round

(All kickoff times are U.S./Eastern)

Saturday, Oct. 19

  • Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution, 3 p.m. (Univision, TUDN)
  • Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas, 3:30 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes) 
  • Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 6 p.m. (Univision, TUDN)
  • Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers, 10 p.m. (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)

Sunday, Oct. 20  

  • Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)  
  • Minnesota United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Conference Semifinals 

Wednesday, Oct. 23 

  • New York City FC vs. TBD, 7 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes) 
  • TBD vs. TBD, 10 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)   

Thursday, Oct. 24  

  • TBD vs. TBD, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
  • Los Angeles FC vs. TBD, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Conference Finals

Tuesday, Oct. 29

  • TBD vs. TBD (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Wednesday, Oct. 30

  • TBD vs. TBD (FS1, Fox Deportes)

2019 MLS Cup

Sunday, Nov. 10

  • East winner vs. West winner, 3 p.m. (ABC, Univision)

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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