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MLS Cup playoff schedule released

Dec 9, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) celebrates after defeating the Seattle Sounders to win the MLS Cup championship game at BMO Field. Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)

Update: 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs first-round pairings set.

The 2018 MLS Cup will take place at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 8. The match will be broadcast in more than 170 countries, according to a statement released Wednesday by Major League Soccer.

FOX will broadcast the final nationally, UniMas will be the Spanish-language broadcaster and in Canada, the game will air in English on TSN and in French on TVA Sports. All playoff matches will also be broadcast nationally across various networks.

The MLS regular season ends Oct. 28, and the top six teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will advance to the postseason, which begins Oct. 31 with a single-elimination Knockout Round.
  
Following the Knockout Round, the Eastern and Western Conference two-game semifinals will be played Nov. 4 and 11. There will be four games each date of the home-and-home series, and two teams from each conference will advance.

The Conference Championships will follow a similar format, with doubleheaders Nov. 25 and 29. Conference champions will play each other for the MLS Cup at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular-season record.

Last year, Eastern Conference champion Toronto FC beat the Western Conference champ Seattle Sounders to hoist the MLS Cup trophy. The Sounders beat Toronto in the 2016 final.

Here is the full 2018 MLS playoff schedule:

Knockout Round

(Conference third seed vs. sixth seed, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)
 
Eastern & Western Conference Knockout Round

  • Wednesday, Oct. 31 — Two Games, Times TBD (UniMás, English-Language broadcast to be announced**)
  • Thursday, Nov. 1 — Two Games, Times TBD (UniMás, English-Language broadcast to be announced **)

** UniMás will broadcast all four Knockout Round matches. ESPN2 and FS1 will each broadcast one of the four Knockout Round matches.

Conference Semifinal Series

(Two-game series, aggregate-goal, home-and-home format between conference top seed vs. lowest advancing seed from Knockout Round and conference second seed vs. highest seed from Knockout Round)
 
Eastern & Western Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (hosted by lower-seeded teams)

  • Sunday, Nov. 4 — Four Games, Times TBD (two games each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes) 

Eastern & Western Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (hosted by higher-seeded teams)

  • Sunday, Nov. 11 — Four Games, Times TBD (two games each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes)

Conference Championship Series

(Two-game series, aggregate-goal, home-and-home format)
 
Conference Championship Leg 1 (hosted by lower-seeded teams)

  • Sunday, Nov. 25 — Two Games, Times TBD (one game each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes) 

Conference Championships Leg 2 (hosted by higher-seeded teams) 

  • Thursday, Nov. 29 — Two Games, Times TBD (one game each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes) 

2018 MLS Cup

(Hosted at the home venue of finalist with best regular-season record)

  • Saturday, Dec. 8 — 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX, UniMás, TSN, TVA Sports)

 

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