MLS Playoffs: Dates, Times, TV- & Streaming Information

MLS Playoffs: Dates, Times, TV- & Streaming Information

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a league that knows how to keep its audience on the edge of their seats. With the 2023 season drawing to a close, the playoffs are where the real excitement begins. This article will guide you through the MLS playoff structure, the teams that have made it to the playoffs this year, and how you can watch all the action unfold live on TV or through streaming.

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MLS Playoffs: The Exciting Format

The MLS playoffs involve a total of 18 teams, with seven from each of the Eastern and Western Conferences directly qualifying for the first round of the playoffs. The remaining four teams, two from each conference, battle it out in a thrilling Wild Card Playoff. The winners of these nail-biting matches secure their spot in the first round.

The First Round

The first round of the playoffs is a best-of-three series. In each conference, the top-seeded team faces the Wild Card winner, while the second seed plays the seventh seed, the third goes against the sixth, and the fourth competes with the fifth. The higher seed hosts the series and the first team to win two matches proceeds to the semi-finals.

The Later Rounds

The Conference Semifinals, Conference Final, and the MLS Cup Final are all single-match eliminations. In these rounds, the higher-seeded team has the home advantage. The ultimate prize, the MLS Cup, awaits the final victor.

The Teams Making the Cut for MLS Playoffs

Eastern Conference:

The Eastern Conference has seven teams that have directly qualified for the playoffs:

  1. FC Cincinnati
  2. Orlando City
  3. Philadelphia Union
  4. Columbus Crew
  5. New England Revolution
  6. Atlanta United
  7. Nashville SC

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and Charlotte FC will face each other in the Wild Card Playoff.

Western Conference:

The Western Conference also has seven teams that have gone straight to the playoffs:

  1. St. Louis City SC
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. LAFC
  4. Houston Dynamo
  5. Real Salt Lake
  6. Vancouver Whitecaps
  7. FC Dallas

In the Wild Card Playoff, Sporting Kansas City and San Jose Earthquakes will compete for the final spot.

The MLS Cup Final: Who Gets to Host?

The privilege of hosting the MLS Cup Final goes to the team with the best regular-season record, as signified by the Supporters' Shield. This year, FC Cincinnati, the winners of the Supporters' Shield, are in pole position to host the final should they make it that far.

The 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule

The 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs kick off with the Wild Card matches on October 25. This is followed by the first round, which runs from October 28 to November 12. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are scheduled between November 25 and December 3. The grand finale, the MLS Cup Final, is scheduled for December 9.

How to Watch the MLS Cup Playoffs

Thanks to a partnership between MLS and Apple, you can watch all the MLS Cup Playoff matches on Apple TV. The MLS Season Pass grants you exclusive access to live streams of all the games.

For those who prefer watching the games on TV, offers a comprehensive guide on which channels are broadcasting the matches. This way, you won’t miss a single moment of the action.


The MLS playoffs are a time of high stakes and intense action. Whether your team is vying for the cup or you're a neutral viewer looking for some thrilling soccer, the MLS playoffs will not disappoint. Remember, you can catch all the action live on TV or stream it on Apple TV. Don't miss out on any of the excitement this playoff season!

Author: Dan Anderson