In case you missed it, around halftime of the New England Revolution - New York Red Bulls match earlier today, Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated put out an article reporting some changes that (according to his source) will be coming to the MLS Playoffs come 2015. The changes will put 12 teams in the playoffs rather than 10 next season, with six qualifying from each conference instead of the current five. Similar to the NFL playoffs, there will be a pair of knockout matches instead of just one.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to the news has been pretty negative on the twittersphere and elsewhere. 60% of the teams in the league making the playoffs is just silly, and it's going to mean even more chances for a 2005 Galaxy, 2009 RSL or 2010 Rapids to sneak their way into a cup final, much to the chagrin of the neutral watcher who wants the cup final to be between two worthy teams.
In the Eastern Conference, it's going to be especially bad. The East has been top-heavy for years now, with very little past the top three or so. Fortunately, we all root for a team in the Western Conference, and the West is going to be pretty damn fun with an extra playoff spot in play.
Remember, the West is gaining Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo, two teams who did quite well in the East for several years until some hiccups this season. If they bounce back to form, the West is going to be amazingly competetive with those two alongside the Galaxy, Sounders, RSL and the teams like Portland and Colorado who had drop-down seasons after impressive 2013s.
The playoff race might be a little less meaningful if nearly everyone is getting in, but that extra spot in what is almost guaranteed to be an ultra-competitive conference is nearly guaranteed to be really, really fun. At least there's a silver lining on this weird news cloud.