MLS Announces 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Format and Schedule
And it isn't great...
Major League Soccer today announced the format and schedule for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup presented by Audi.
The Athletic reported earlier in the day about the change in the format as the league will shift to adding a team per conference by creating a wild card play-in game before having a first round that sees a best-of-three series. Following the first round, the format will return to single elimination.
As MLS said in their press release, the additions will allow more games and drama in the playoffs.
The expanded format will deliver even more must-win matches, as every game in the Round One Best-of-3 series will have a winner and a loser. With the addition of the Wild Card games and the Round One Best-of-3 series, the playoffs will see up-to 24 must-win matches ahead of MLS Cup presented by Audi in 2023 (compared with 12 in 2022).
MLS also gave a brief explanation as to who came up with the new format.
Major League Soccer, in concert with the MLS Product Strategy Committee, undertook a review of the playoff format beginning in 2021 to deliver an enhanced playoff format that would provide fans with more games of consequence and better reward regular season results while maintaining the best elements from the single-elimination format. Incorporating fan research and feedback, MLS engaged a third-party expert in the global sports industry to support the process with data and analysis.
Yeah, this can be summed up in one easy gif.
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