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

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It’s put up or shut up time in Major League Soccer. The final 2021 MLS playoff bracket is set after Decision Day and the path to the 2021 MLS Cup title is clear.

Here are the basics: A total of 14 teams made the postseason (seven from East, seven from West). The team with the best record hosts every match of the playoffs, 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 beginning to end.

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.

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Date Round Match Time (ET) TV Channels Streaming
Sat., Nov. 20 1st Round #1 TBD vs. TBD 12 p.m. Univision, TUDN, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sat., Nov. 20 1st Round #2 TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. Univision, TUDN, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sun, Nov. 21 1st Round #3 TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sun, Nov. 21 1st Round #4 TBD vs. TBD 5:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Tues, Nov. 23 1st Round #5 TBD vs. TBD TBD FS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Tues, Nov. 23 1st Round #6 TBD vs. TBD TBD FS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Thurs, Nov. 25 Conf Semi #1 TBD vs. TBD 4:30 p.m. Fox, Fox Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sun, Nov. 28 Conf Semi #2 TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sun, Nov. 28 Conf Semi #3 TBD vs. TBD 5:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Tues, Nov. 30 Conf Semi #4 TBD vs. TBD TBD FS1, Fox Dep., TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sat., Dec. 4 Conf Final #1 TBD vs. TBD TBD FS1, Fox Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sun., Dec. 5 Conf Final #2 TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. ABC, ESPN Dep, TSN, TVA fuboTV
Sat., Dec. 11 MLS Cup TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. ABC, UniMas, TUDN, TSN, TVA fuboTV

During the playoffs, if there are any ties after 90 minutes of regulation, matches will head into 30 minutes of extra time. A penalty-kick shootout will determine a winner if the deadlock persists at the end of extra time.

MLS playoff teams

The final standings in both the East and West were set after Decision Day. Here’s how the playoff races ended:

Eastern Conference

The top seven teams made it (noted with an ‘X’) with the New England Revolution having secured the No. 1 seed a few weeks back. D.C. United and defending champion Columbus Crew SC fell one point shy of the playoff field (noted with an ‘E’), as the NY Red Bulls nabbed the seventh and final spot with a draw on the final day.

In the case teams are tied on points, the first tiebreakers are (1) total wins, (2) goal differential and (3) goals scored. Here are the top 10 positions in the final standings of the 14-team Eastern Conference:

Team Points Wins Goal Diff. Goals For
1. New England (X) 73 22 +24 65
2. Philadelphia (X) 54 14 +13 48
3. Nashville SC (X) 54 12 +22 55
4. NYCFC (X) 51 14 +20 56
5. Atlanta United (X) 51 13 +8 45
6. Orlando City (X) 51 13 +2 50
7. NY Red Bulls (X) 48 13 +6 39
8. D.C. United (E) 47 14 +2 56
9. Columbus (E) 47 13 +1 46
10. CF Montreal (E) 46 12 +2 46

Western Conference

The top seven teams qualified (noted with an ‘X’). Real Salt Lake made it with a win on the final day (1-0 on a stoppage-time winner in KC), while both LA teams are out (noted with an ‘E’) after failing to win their final matches. LAFC lost against top seed Colorado 5-2, while the LA Galaxy could only tie 3-3 at home against No. 5-seed Minnesota.

Tiebreakers came into play with the final playoff spot in the West. The first standings tiebreakers in MLS are (1) total wins, (2) goal differential and (3) goals scored, and RSL pipped the LA Galaxy on total wins (14 vs. 13). Here’s how the top nine spots in the 13-team Western Conference finished:

Team Points Wins Goal Diff. Goals For
1. Colorado (X) 61 17 +16 51
2. Seattle (X) 60 17 +20 53
3. Sporting KC (X) 58 17 +18 58
4. Portland (X) 55 17 +4 56
5. Minnesota (X) 49 13 -2 42
6. Vancouver (X) 49 12 0 45
7. Real Salt Lake (X) 48 14 1 55
8. LA Galaxy (E) 48 13 -4 50
9. LAFC (E) 45 12 +2 53

MORE: Updated English Premier League schedule

How MLS playoffs work

A total of 12 single-elimination matches will leave two finalists, one from each conference, to play for MLS Cup on Dec. 11. 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 — 30 minutes of extra time after 90 minutes of regulation, and a penalty-kick shootout, if necessary — apply in the MLS Cup final.

MLS 2021 playoff bracket

Eastern Conference

First Round

  • No. 2 Philadelphia Union vs. No. 7 NY Red Bulls
  • No. 3 Nashville SC vs. No. 6 Orlando City
  • No. 4 NYCFC vs. No. 5 Atlanta United

Conference Semifinals:

  • No. 1 New England Revolution vs. No. 4/5 NYCFC / Atlanta
  • No. 3/6 Nashville / Orlando vs. No. 2/7 Philadelphia / NY Red Bulls (higher seed hosts)

Conference Final:

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

Western Conference

First Round

  • No. 2 Seattle Sounders vs. No. 7 Real Salt Lake
  • No. 3 Sporting KC vs. No. 6 Vancouver Whitecaps
  • No. 4 Portland Timbers vs. No. 5 Minnesota United

Conference Semifinals:

  • No. 1 Colorado Rapids vs. No. 4/5 Portland / Minnesota
  • No. 3/6 Sporting KC / Vancouver vs. No. 2/7 Seattle / RSL (higher seed hosts)

Conference Final:

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

MORE: Serie A schedule

MLS 2021 playoff schedule, TV & streaming

Eastern Conference

EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Nov. 20/21/23 Philadelphia Union vs. NY Red Bulls TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23 Nashville SC vs. Orlando City TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23 NYCFC vs. Atlanta United TBD TBD fuboTV

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Nov. 25/28/30 New England Revolution vs. NYCFC / Atlanta TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 25/28/30 Philadelphia / NY Red Bulls vs. Nashville / Orlando TBD TBD fuboTV

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Dec. 4/5 TBD vs. TBD TBD TBD fuboTV

Western Conference

WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Nov. 20/21/23 Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23 Sporting KC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 20/21/23 Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United TBD TBD fuboTV

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Nov. 25/28/30 Colorado vs. Portland / Minnesota TBD TBD fuboTV
Nov. 25/28/30 Sporting KC / Vancouver vs. Seattle / RSL  TBD TBD fuboTV

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Dec. 4/5 TBD vs. TBD TBD TBD fuboTV

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.

Date Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Sat., Dec. 11 TBD vs. TBD 3 p.m. ABC, UniMas, TUDN, TSN, TVA fuboTV

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 Colorado Rapids (No. 1 in West) and Seattle Sounders (No. 2 in West) have the next lowest odds.

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

Team DraftKings BetMGM PointsBet
New England Revolution +225 +300 +450
Seattle Sounders +700 +525 +450
Sporting Kansas City +1000 +650 +900
Colorado Rapids +350 +625 +1200
Nashville SC +1200 +1150 +2200
Philadelphia Union +1000 +1050 +1200
NYCFC +900 +1250 +2000
Portland Timbers +2000 +950 +1600
Atlanta United +3500 +1900 +2000
Orlando City +2500 +1500 +900
Minnesota United +3500 +2200 +2500
NY Red Bulls +4000 +2500 +4000
Vancouver Whitecaps +4000 +2800 +3300
Real Salt Lake +5000 +2200 +2500



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