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MLS playoffs to expand to 12 teams in 2015, SI says

Major League Soccer's playoffs will be expanding the diversity of teams entering in 2015, with 12 teams making the post-season next year, according to a Sports Illustrated report.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLS Playoffs continuing Saturday and today, you'd be forgiven if you thought that MLS had stumbled on a format that, well, worked. At least sort of.

Dispute that how you may, but it wasn't a system that you'd think would require changing for 2015, when MLS will be up to 20 teams. As the system stands prior to the reveal by the ever-reliable Brian Straus at Sports Illustrated, there wouldn't actually be any changes required to the setup. Ten teams make the playoffs now, and that's whittled down to eight after a knockout round. With 20 teams, that becomes a balanced affair.

But alas, we're set for a change once again. This one would see 12 teams make the playoffs, with four teams playing a single elimination match: The third seed against the sixth, and the fourth against the fifth. The winners of those two matches go on to face the first and second-placed teams.

The conference semifinal and final will still be conducted as a two-legged series, so it won't be totally dissimilar from what we see now.

So there's that — it doesn't seem totally necessary, especially now that more than half of the teams in both conferences will see at least some playoff action. Perhaps it will have a positive, competition-driving effect, but it might just be a case of change for the sake of change.