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.