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2016 MLS Cup Playoff format and broadcast schedule announced

The MLS Cup Championship match is going primetime!

MLS Heineken Rivalry Week Human Foosball Soccer event Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Heineken

It’s time to start thinking about the playoffs! I’m going to have faith in our Colorado Rapids—they are going to get it together and make a strong run in the post-season (they have to, right???). The Rapids’ last regular season match is on Sunday, October 23, at home vs. Houston Dynamo, and then the postseason will start just a couple days later on October 26 and 27. The playoffs will be on FS1, ESPN and UniMás in the United States, and also on TSN and RDS in Canada.

The playoff format will be the same as last year. The top six teams from each conference will be seeded for the playoffs, kicking off with two Knockout Round games on October 26 and 27. The third and sixth seeds will play each other, and the fourth and fifth seeds will play each other. The Knockout Rounds will be on UniMás, and ESPN/FS1 will each show one of the games as well. The first and second seeds will get a first-round bye.

The winners of the Knockout Rounds will move on to a two-game, aggregate-goal format. This is why it’s SO IMPORTANT for the Rapids to get either the first or second place spot in the conference. The second seed will play the highest seed from the Knockout Round, while the top seed will play the lower seed from the Knockout Round.

After a break from November 7-15 for international play, the Conference Championship match will also be a two-game, aggregate-goal format, taking place between Sunday, November 20 and Wednesday, November 30.

For the first time in league history, the MLS Cup Championship match will be featured during primetime on a Saturday night—December 10 at 8 pm EST, on FOX, UniMás, TSN and RDS. The championship will be played at the stadium of the finalist team that had the better regular-season record.

For more information, visit the MLS website.