NEW YORK – Major League Soccer unveiled its long-awaited revamped postseason structure for the 2011 season on Wednesday, giving 10 teams the chance to vie for MLS Cup in a unique twist on the league’s format from the last two seasons.
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The league’s new structure will include the top three seeds from each conference and four wild card berths – regardless of conference affiliation – but the postseason will now include two play-in games for those wild card teams.
The expanded system now allows for more teams to be included in the postseason chase, driving more interest throughout the league as two additional teams vie for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
“While there will be some who say that expanding the playoff field dilutes the regular season, we believe that in a certain way, it actually enhances it,” said Nelson Rodriguez, MLS executive vice president of competition and game operations.
“It will mean that the battle and the race for the playoffs will have added intensity and last longer through the regular season. And that, on balance, should be a good thing for the play on the field, and for the fans in the stands and at home