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MLS offseason calendar: Decision Day 2018 to Opening Day 2019

The 2018 Major League Soccer season concludes Sunday with Decision Day, which means 12 teams advance to the MLS Cup playoffs and the planning for 2019 begins for the 11 others, in addition to expansion side FC Cincinnati.

Here are some of the key postseason and preseason dates leading to the start of the 2019 MLS season. Please check back often for updates and other key dates, which will be added in the coming months. 

2018 Caribbean Combine

  • Oct. 15-18 — Kingston, Jamaica
  • Oct. 22-25 — Bridgetown, Barbados

Decision Day

MLS Cup Playoffs

Knockout Round

  • Oct. 31 — East No. 6 at East No. 3
    — West No. 6 at West No. 3
  • Nov. 1 — East No. 5 at East No. 4
    — West No. 5 at West No. 4

Conference Semifinal Series

  • Nov. 4 — Eastern and Western Conference Leg 1 (hosted by lower seed)
  • Nov. 11 — Eastern and Western Conference Leg 2 (hosted by higher seed)

(International break — USMNT vs. England Nov. 15; vs. Italy Nov 20; CAN vs. St. Kitts and Nevis Nov. 17)

Conference Championship Series

  • Nov. 25 — Eastern and Western Conference Leg 1 (hosted by lower seed)
  • Nov. 29 — Eastern and Western Conference Leg 2 (hosted by higher seed)

2018 MLS Cup

  • Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. (location TBD)

Half-day trade window

  • Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Following a three-month roster freeze, this takes place the day after MLS Cup every year.

Expansion Draft for FC Cincinnati

  • December 11, 2 p.m.

MLS Waiver Draft

  • December 12, 4 p.m.

MLS Re-entry Draft

  • Stage 1 — December 14, 3 p.m.
  • Stage 2 — December 20, 2 p.m.

2019 MLS Player Combine

  • Jan. 3-9 — Orlando City Stadium

2019 MLS SuperDraft

  • Jan. 11 — Chicago, Ill.

2019 MLS preseason begins

  • Dates are not yet confirmed, but preseason training typically begins the third or fourth week of January.

2019 MLS regular season begins

  • Date TBD. The regular season typically kicks off at the beginning of March.

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