'The system is s***' - Ibrahimovic critical of MLS playoffs

Zlatan Ibrahimovic LA Galaxy MLS 03312019
Katharine Lotze
The LA Galaxy star criticized the postseason system due to a lack of urgency

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not a fan of the MLS playoffs as the LA Galaxy captain labelled the system "s***".

Unlike Europe, where Ibrahimovic has played for the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus, MLS uses a playoff system to crown a champion.

The top seven teams from the Western and Eastern Conferences – which consist of 12 teams in each division – progress to the postseason.

This year presents the first year of a new single-elimination playoff format with the top seed in each conference earning a bye to the second round while the other six teams in each conference battle for their spots in the conference semifinals. 

In addition, the playoffs will be completed earlier this season, as the MLS campaign will finish in November rather than in early December like years past.

Ibrahimovic, however, does not like the postseason system after voicing his disapproval following Thursday's training session.

"I think the system is s***," Ibrahimovic told reporters in Los Angeles. "How can you learn mentality if you only have to reach the playoffs?"

"You just need to win the play-offs, and that's it. The results in each game are important, but here, if you come in seventh place, you make the playoffs and win, you are champion," the 37-year-old added.

"For me, the mentality is every day, training the way you train is the way you play a game, and with the MLS system, how do you create that mentality to be in your toes 24 hours?It’s very difficult."

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The Galaxy, who missed the playoffs last season in Ibrahimovic's debut campaign, are fifth in the Western Conference and 15 points adrift of the league-leaders, rivals Los Angeles FC.

Ibrahimovic – an All-Star this season – has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances for the Galaxy this year after scoring 22 goals in 27 matches in his first MLS season.

The Galaxy will face D.C. United in their next match before facing the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas. After that, it's a clash with LAFC, who are on pace to break a number of MLS records this campaign.