2017 MLS Playoffs
Unlike most major international soccer leagues, the MLS crowns its champion based on the results of a post-season. The MLS Cup Playoffs include 12 of the league’s 22 teams, six each from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The top two teams from each conference receive a bye into the Conference Semifinals, with the third-seeded team taking on the sixth-seeded team and the fourth-seeded team going up against the fifth-seeded team in one match played at the higher-seeded team’s home stadium. The lower-seeded team to advance goes on to face the top-seeded team in its conference, with the higher-seeded team to advance takes on the second-seeded team in its conference. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are played in the traditional two-legged home-and-away format, while the MLS Cup final itself is a one-match affair taking place at the home stadium of the team with the higher point total from the regular season.
MLS Cup Playoffs History
The MLS Cup Playoffs were first held in 1996, with D.C. United defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup final by a score of 3-2 after coming back from a two-goal deficit and scoring the winner in the golden goal overtime period. D.C. United went on to win two of the next three MLS Cup finals, losing to the Chicago Fire in the final match in 1998, marking the start of the MLS with a dominant run. Following D.C. United’s three-title run, the league continued expanding, and while the MLS Cup Playoffs consisted of eight teams until 2010, the league made the move to a ten-team playoff in 2011, which grew once again to twelve teams in 2015.
While D.C. United was undoubtedly the top team in the league in its early stages, and won a subsequent MLS Cup final in 2004, the Los Angeles Galaxy has reigned victorious more than any other MLS team with five titles to its name. The Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes have each won two titles, while the Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake, the Colorado Rapids, the Portland Timbers and the aforementioned Fire have all been league champions once. In addition, the most recent MLS champion is Seattle Sounders FC, which won its first league title last season. Perhaps the unluckiest team in league history has been the New England Revolution, having reached the MLS Cup final five times without ever leaving victorious.
2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Preview
While the exact playoff field is not yet known, there are a few teams that look primed for a deep run in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. Toronto FC, which lost at home in last year’s MLS Cup final in a dramatic penalty shootout, has bounced back with a stellar start to the 2017 campaign. With the likes of American midfield stalwart Michael Bradley, powerful striker Jozy Altidore, experienced midfielder Steven Beitashour, and Italian forward extraordinaire Sebastian Giovinco on the roster, Toronto boasts perhaps the most talent in the MLS. Head coach Greg Vanney will be especially optimistic of his team’s chances of winning it all in 2017, given how well new additions Victor Vazquez, Chris Mavinga, and Armando Cooper have played thus far in the regular season. Other contenders in the Eastern Conference include New York City FC, a team that is led by Spanish international icon David Villa, Orlando City SC and its Brazilian midfield legend Kaka, and the upstart expansion Atlanta United. Perhaps the most surprising team in all of the league has been Chicago, which has taken full advantage of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s arrival by shooting up to the top of the conference after having finished near the very bottom in recent years.
In the Western Conference, reigning champion Seattle has struggled, and Pacific Northwest rival Portland looks like more of a playoff threat. Sporting Kansas City and Houston have also looked threatening this season in a conference that currently features many teams that have thus far been unable to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. The west, however, has no shortage of star players, including Diego Valeri, Ashley Cole, Osvaldo Alonso, and Giovani dos Santos, so the conference’s playoffs will be anything but boring.
2016 MLS Playoffs Recap
How much do MLS Playoffs tickets cost?
The price of MLS Playoff tickets can vary greatly, both by location and by round. Last season, MLS Playoffs tickets resold for as low as under $50 on average for early rounds of the playoffs, and just under $300 on average for the MLS Cup Final in Toronto.
2017 MLS Playoffs Schedule
The 2017 MLS Playoffs will begin in late October 2017 and end in December.
MLS Playoffs Schedule
How to buy MLS Playoffs tickets
SeatGeek is the best way to browse, find, and buy MLS Playoffs tickets.
Browse the listings of MLS Playoffs games to find one you would like to attend. Once you find the perfect date and game, click on the green button on the right hand side of the screen to see all available tickets for that game.
Next, explore all available tickets on the left hand side of the screen. Filters at the bottom of the page allow tickets to be sorted by price, or by SeatGeek’s Deal Score feature, which ranks tickets by value and tells you exactly how good of a deal you're looking at. On the right hand side, you can explore SeatGeek’s interactive stadium and arena maps to find the perfect seating section, and to get a preview of what a view from a seat in that section will look like.
To purchase a ticket, click the ticket listing and you will be directed to SeatGeek’s checkout process to complete the information fields.
SeatGeek will process your order and deliver your MLS Playoffs tickets.
When do MLS Playoffs tickets go on sale?
MLS Playoffs tickets typically go on sale in October.
How much do MLS Playoffs tickets cost?
MLS Playoffs tickets can range quite a bit in price depending on the day, game, and type of ticket purchased. SeatGeek has the widest selection of tickets on the web, offering MLS Playoffs tickets for every fan at every price point. Tickets started at $50 during the 2016 MLS Playoffs. View our listings of MLS Playoffs games in October for exact prices for the 2017 MLS Playoffs.
Where does the MLS Playoffs take place?
The MLS playoffs take place at various stadiums around America depending on who makes the playoffs and seeding.
When do the MLS Playoffs take place?
This year, the MLS Playoffs begin on October 25, 2017.