Here it is, straight from MLS
MLS Releases Format for 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs
NEW YORK (Wednesday, February 23, 2011) - Today Major League Soccer announced the format for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs. For a visual representation of the playoffs, go to www.MLSsoccer.com.
Ten clubs will qualify for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs:
- The top three finishers in each conference, based on regular season points (six automatic berths)
- The next best four clubs based on regular season points, irrespective of conference (four wild cards)
- The four wild cards will play single elimination games against each other, with higher seeds hosting (1 vs. 4; 2 vs. 3). These play-in games are part of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
- After the two play-in games conclude, the lowest remaining seed will face the Supporters' Shield winner in the Conference Semifinals; the other will face the No. 1 seed in the opposite conference from the Supporters' Shield winner.
The four Conference Semifinals will be decided by two-game aggregate series, with each club hosting one game. The two Conference Championships will be single games hosted by the higher seed. MLS Cup will again be a single championship match hosted at a predetermined site to be announced at a later date.
The 2011 MLS regular season concludes Oct. 23. The dates for the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup will be announced at a later date.
The 2011 MLS season starts Tuesday, March 15 when the LA Galaxy travel to face the Seattle Sounders at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com). All 18 clubs are in action during First Kick presented by Dick's Sporting Goods. For a complete schedule, CLICK HERE.
Conference breakdown after the jump:
- Chicago Fire
- Columbus Crew
- D.C. United
- Houston Dynamo
- Sporting Kansas City
- New England Revolution
- New York Red Bulls
- Philadelphia Union
- Toronto FC
- Chivas USA
- Colorado Rapids
- FC Dallas
- LA Galaxy
- Portland Timbers
- Real Salt Lake
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Not as bad as it could have been, and not as good as it should be.
OFF MY SOAPBOX