The past few years of the MLS Cup Playoffs have been...not fun.
This isn’t to discount the games themselves, which have been exhilarating at times. But the execution of the playoffs have been dire: Lower seeds have disproportionally upset the top teams, while the FIFA international break effectively kills the postseason’s momentum.
Luckily big changes are in store for 2019.
▪️ Single-game rounds— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 17, 2018
▪️ All between Oct/Nov FIFA breaks
▪️ Rewards regular-season success
Our new @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs format: https://t.co/stSKmmToih pic.twitter.com/3uogrh4jCy
Obviously the biggest change is the elimination of a two-leg playoff series, set to be replaced by a single-elimination format with the higher seed hosting the match. Additionally the new format makes it much harder for teams to sneak into the playoffs on a hot streak and outperform better sides, bringing balance to a format that has favored the underdogs over the years.
The 2019 MLS Cup playoffs will also conclude before the international break, allowing the entirely of the tournament to take place within three weeks. (With better weather)
You can learn more about the new rules HERE.