After the 2010 playoffs featured eliminations of the top seeded teams, wild card entries will now play each other.
Ten clubs will qualify for the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs. Two new clubs, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers, have joined the league this season.
The top three finishers in each conference, based on regular season points (six automatic berths), and the next best four clubs based on regular season points, irrespective of conference (four wild cards).
The four wild cards will play single elimination games against each other, with higher seeds hosting (1 vs. 4; 2 vs. 3). These play-in games are part of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
After the two play-in games conclude, the lowest remaining seed will face the Supporters’ Shield winner in the Conference Semifinals; the other will face the No. 1 seed in the opposite conference from the Supporters’ Shield winner.
The four Conference Semifinals will be decided by two-game aggregate series, with each club hosting one game.
The two Conference Championships will be single games hosted by the higher seed.
MLS Cup will again be a single championship match hosted at a predetermined site to be announced at a later date.
The 2011 MLS regular season concludes Oct. 23. The dates for the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup will be announced at a later date.
The 2011 MLS season starts Tuesday, March 15.
EASTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE
Chicago Fire Chivas USA
Columbus Crew Colorado Rapids
D.C. United FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City Portland Timbers
New England Revolution Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls San Jose Earthquakes
Philadelphia Union Seattle Sounders FC
Toronto FC Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!