The MLS playoffs explained

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by KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 3:11 AM

PORTLAND -- The Timbers have made the playoffs for the first time since joining Major League Soccer in 2011. Not just made it, but finished on top of the Western Conference.

Might Timbers fans see a championship match at Jeld-Wen Field? Here's how.

More: Complete Timbers Coverage

The regular season ended with five teams, based on regular season points, advancing from the Western and Eastern conferences. Because of the odd number, the four and five seeds play each other in the "knockout round."

More: Download the bracket

The Seattle Sounders face the Colorado Rapids in the knockout round that leads to a match with the Timbers.

After the knockout rounds, the semifinals begin, with No. 1 seed in each conference playing the knockout round winner, along with the 2 seed playing the 3 seed.

There are two matches for the semi-final rounds. The team with the highest number of goals after those two matches advances.

The Timbers play either the Sounders or the Rapids on the road on Nov. 2 and at Jeld-Wen on Nov. 7. The team with the highest number of goals after those two matches advances.

More: Timbers sell 2,000 single-game tickets

There are no ties in the playoffs. If the score is tied after regulation time, this is followed by two 15-minute overtime periods. In a second match, if the teams still have the same number of aggregate goals, penalty kicks then determine the winner.

The teams that advance to the conference finals also play a two-game series, with the highest goal aggregate advancing to the finals. If the Timbers advance, they will play either the L.A. Galaxy or Real Salt Lake.

Now, about home field advantage in the final.

Rather than a neutral site as in the past, the championship match will be played in the city where the team with the highest regular season points reaches.

The New York Red Bulls had 59 regular season points and Sporting Kansas 58. Both are in the Eastern Conference. Both would have to be eliminated, with Portland and its 57 points advancing, for the dream final at Jeld-Wen.

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