Sources: MLS May Overhaul Regular Season, Playoff Schedules In '19
MLS is "preparing a significant overhaul of its regular season and playoff schedules" for the '19 season and beyond, according to sources cited by Miki Turner of THE ATHLETIC. The potential changes would "involve a shortened regular season and a more measured playoff schedule." Currently, the MLS regular season "runs from March through October," with the six-week playoff schedule of the MLS Cup "stretching well into December." Sources said that the proposed changes for a new schedule "could be implemented" at the MLS BOG meeting next month. The "tentative plan would see the MLS final played before the November international break." Though specific dates have not been disclosed, playing the MLS Cup final prior to the international break would "likely set the final" somewhere between Nov. 8-15, depending on the year. Sources confirmed that the regular season "would end prior to the October international break," with "Decision Day" in '19 being held Oct. 6. This would "condense the league's playoff schedule to about a month, potentially making home-and-away legs logistically difficult." Sources also said that MLS is "likely to approve a single-elimination style knockout tournament to replace the two-legged conference semifinals and finals" at the December vote (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/19).