This just in from the league:
Major League Soccer today announced dates for this season’s MLS Cup Playoff matches, culminating in MLS Cup 2011 on Sunday, Nov. 20 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The road to the League’s 16th championship consists of 13 total games, with a break for FIFA fixture dates (Nov. 11 & 15) between the conference championships and MLS Cup. The broadcast schedule and kickoff times for playoff games will be announced at a later date.
Ten teams will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs upon the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 23. The top three teams in each conference will enter as automatic qualifiers and the next four teams, regardless of conference, will enter the Wild Card Games.
To see the current playoff standings and full qualification procedures, click here.
The 2011 MLS Cup Playoff schedule (prospective teams listed as if the season ended today, but in reality, 11 weeks remain in the regular season) is as follows:
• Wild Card Games– hosted by higher seed; single elimination
(Currently Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake)
o Wed., Oct. 26 o Thurs., Oct. 27
• Conference Semifinals, First Leg– hosted by lower seed
(Currently LA Galaxy at lowest remaining wild card; Columbus Crew at other remaining wild card; FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders; and Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls)
o Sat., Oct. 29 o Sat., Oct. 29
o Sun., Oct. 30 o Sun., Oct. 30
• Conference Semifinals, Second Leg– hosted by higher seed; winner by aggregate goals(Currently lowest wild card at LA Galaxy; other remaining wild card team at Columbus Crew; Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas; and New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union)
o Wed., Nov. 2 o Wed., Nov. 2
o Thurs., Nov. 3 o Thurs., Nov. 3
• Conference Championships– hosted by higher seed; single eliminationo Sat., Nov. 5 o Sun., Nov. 6
NOTE: A break occurs here due to FIFA fixtures on Nov. 11 &15.
• MLS Cup 2011– at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; single-game finalo Sun., Nov. 20
NOTE: No team will be scheduled to play on Thursday and Saturday of a given week.