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MLS playoffs 2021 schedule, matchups, teams, TV, streaming and betting odds

It’s put up or shut up time in Major League Soccer. After the final 2021 MLS playoff bracket is set on Decision Day (Nov. 7), the path to the 2021 MLS Cup title will be clear.

Here are the basics: A total of 14 teams make the postseason (seven from East, seven from West). The team with the best record hosts every match, and the No. 1 seed in each conference gets a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout. It’s straight single-elimination knockouts from there on out.

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The madness starts on Nov. 20, and the full schedule for the 13 playoff matches through MLS Cup on Dec. 11 will be listed below when it’s officially released.

DateRoundMatchTime (ET)TV ChannelsStreaming
Sat., Nov. 201st Round #1TBD vs. TBD12 p.m.Univision, TUDN, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sat., Nov. 201st Round #2TBD vs. TBD3 p.m.Univision, TUDN, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sun, Nov. 211st Round #3TBD vs. TBD3 p.m.ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sun, Nov. 211st Round #4TBD vs. TBD5:30 p.m.ESPN, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Tues, Nov. 231st Round #5TBD vs. TBDTBDFS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Tues, Nov. 231st Round #6TBD vs. TBDTBDFS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Thurs, Nov. 25Conf Semi #1TBD vs. TBD4:30 p.m.Fox, Fox Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sun, Nov. 28Conf Semi #2TBD vs. TBD3 p.m.ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sun, Nov. 28Conf Semi #3TBD vs. TBD5:30 p.m.ESPN, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Tues, Nov. 30Conf Semi #4TBD vs. TBDTBDFS1, Fox Dep., TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sat., Dec. 4Conf Final #1TBD vs. TBDTBDFS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sun., Dec. 5Conf Final #2TBD vs. TBD3 p.m.ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVAfuboTV
Sat., Dec. 11MLS CupTBD vs. TBD3 p.m.ABC, UniMas, TUDN, TSN, TVAfuboTV

If there are any ties after 90 minutes, teams will have 30 minutes of extra time. A penalty-kick shootout will determine a winner if the deadlock persists beyond extra time.

MLS playoff teams

Playoff places and seeding are left to be decided in both conferences on Decision Day:

Eastern Conference

The top seven teams make it. Four teams have already clinched (noted with an ‘X’), and the New England Revolution has secured the No. 1 seed. Six teams are left to battle for the final three spots.

If teams are tied on points, the first tiebreakers are (1) total wins, (2) goal differential and (3) goals scored. Here’s how the East playoff seeding looks like with one match left to be played:

TeamPointsWinsGoal Diff.Goals For
1. New England (X)7322+2565
2. Philadelphia (X)5314+1347
3. Nashville (X)5312+2254
4. NYCFC (X)5014+2055
5. Atlanta United4812+743
6. Orlando City4812048
7. NY Red Bulls4713+638
8. CF Montreal4612+446
9. D.C. United4413053
10. Columbus4412-144

Western Conference

The top seven teams make it. Four teams have already clinched (noted with an ‘X’), leaving five teams to battle it out for the final three spots.

If teams are tied on points, the first tiebreakers are (1) total wins, (2) goal differential and (3) goals scored. Here’s how the West playoff seeding looks like with one match left to be played:

TeamPointsWinsGoal Diff.Goals For
1. Seattle (X)5917+2052
2. Sporting KC (X)5817+1958
3. Colorado (X)5816+1346
4. Portland (X)5216+153
5. Minnesota4813-239
6. Vancouver4812044
7. LA Galaxy4713-447
8. Real Salt Lake4513054
9. LAFC4512+551

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How MLS playoffs work

A total of 12 single-elimination matches will leave two finalists, one from each conference, to play for MLS Cup. Here’s how the playoff format works:

  • First round: Three matches in each conference pitting No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. The No. 1 seed gets a bye. Higher seeds host.
  • Conference semis: It’s predetermined that the No. 1 seed will face the winner of the No. 4-vs.-No. 5 match. The other two winners face off: No. 3/No. 6 vs. No. 2/No. 7. Again, the higher seed hosts.
  • Conference finals: The final two teams left standing in each conference face off in the home of the highest remaining seed.
  • MLS Cup: The two conference champions meet at MLS Cup, hosted by the team with the best regular season record.

The same extra time rules for the playoffs — 90 minutes, 30 extra time minutes, penalty-kick shootout — apply to the MLS Cup championship.

MLS 2021 playoff bracket

Eastern Conference

First Round

  • No. 2 vs. No. 7
  • No. 3 vs. No. 6
  • No. 4 vs. No. 5

Conference Semifinals:

  • No. 1 vs. No. 4/5
  • No. 3/6 vs. No. 2/7 (higher seed hosts)

Conference Final:

  • No. 1/4/5 vs. No. 2/3/6/7 (higher seed hosts)

Western Conference

First Round

  • No. 2 vs. No. 7
  • No. 3 vs. No. 6
  • No. 4 vs. No. 5

Conference Semifinals:

  • No. 1 vs. No. 4/5
  • No. 3/6 vs. No. 2/7 (higher seed hosts)

Conference Final:

  • No. 1/4/5 vs. No. 2/3/6/7 (higher seed hosts)

MORE: Serie A schedule: Watch Milan vs. Inter, Juventus vs. Fiorentina on Paramount+

MLS 2021 playoff schedule, TV & streaming

Eastern Conference

EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Nov. 25/28/30TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 25/28/30TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Dec. 4/5TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

Western Conference

WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Nov. 25/28/30TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV
Nov. 25/28/30TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Dec. 4/5TBD vs. TBDTBDTBDfuboTV

MLS Cup 2021

The 26th MLS Cup championship final will be played on Sat., Dec. 11 and will be hosted by the finalist with the best regular season record.

DateMatchTime (ET)TV channelsStream
Sat., Dec. 11TBD vs. TBD3 p.m.ABC, UniMas, TUDN, TSN, TVAfuboTV

Who will win MLS Cup?

The New England Revolution, which amassed the best record in MLS during the 2021 regular season, is the favorite going into the postseason. The three teams vying for the No. 1 seed in the West are next in line.

There are some wild disparities in the odds between major sportsbooks, which will all likely revise their numbers when the playoff bracket is set.

MLS Cup 2021 outright winner odds

TeamDraftKingsBetMGMPointsBet
New England Revolution+250+290+450
Seattle Sounders+450+500+450
Sporting Kansas City+600+625+900
Colorado Rapids+800+650+1200
Nashville SC+900+1100+2200
Philadelphia Union+1100+1000+1200
NYCFC+1100+1200+2000
Portland Timbers+1800+1000+1600
Atlanta United+2000+2000+2000
Orlando City+2500+1550+900
LA Galaxy+2800+2000+2000
Minnesota United+2800+2000+2500
NY Red Bulls+2800+2200+4000
Vancouver Whitecaps+3500+2500+3300
CF Montreal+4000+2800N/A
LAFC+5000+1750+900
Real Salt Lake+6500+2500+2500
Columbus Crew+15000+2500+4000
D.C. United+18000+2500+6000



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