MLS expands playoffs for 2023 season, adds wild card round

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Major League Soccer has announced a new playoff format for the 2023 season.

Nine teams from each conference will now make the playoffs. The top seven teams will receive a bye, while the eighth and ninth seeds will play a single elimination match hosted by the higher seed.

The winner of that match will play the No. 1 seed in a best-of-three series. The No. 1 seed will have home field advantage. The rest of the teams will play similar best-of-three series: the No. 2 vs No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

The conference semifinals, conference finals and MLS Cup Final remain largely unchanged.

The new format would not have helped Atlanta reach the playoffs last year; the Five Stripes finished 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Alexandra Parker

Alexandra Parker joined Atlanta News First as a Digital Content Producer in July 2022.