NEW YORK – Major League Soccer Wednesday announced that the MLS Cup will be played Saturday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. ET.
Again, it will be hosted by the finalist with the best regular-season record.
The league’s 22nd annual championship game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on ESPN and UniMás, in Canada on TSN and TVA Sports and across more than 170 countries worldwide.
If the regular season form and pace holds, MLS Cup could be hosted in a cold-weather city.
Three teams in the Eastern Conference — Toronto FC (50 points), New York City FC (46) and the Chicago Fire (41) — have more points than the two sides that share the Western Conference lead — the Seattle Sounders (40) and Sporting Kansas City (40).
Given how well NYCFC has played as it vies for the Supporters Shield, Yankee Stadium could very well be the host of the championship match.
MLS also announced dates for the playoffs, with postseason action kicking off Oct. 25-26, following the close of regular season play Sunday, Oct. 22. All playoff matches will be broadcast nationally across the league’s domestic partners FS1, ESPN and UniMás, with TSN and TVA Sports networks transmitting the games in Canada.
The top six teams in each of the conferences will qualify for the playoffs.
The postseason begins with four knockout round games Oct. 25-26, during which the third and sixth seeds, and fourth and fifth seeds from each conference, will face off in single-game elimination matches hosted by the higher seeded teams.
All four games will be broadcast on UniMás with ESPN2 and FS1 carrying one match each Oct. 26.
Knockout Round winners advance to the conference semifinals – a two-game, aggregate-goal format, home-and-home series between Oct. 29-Nov. 5.
Each conference’s top seed will face their respective conference’s lowest-seeded knockout round winner. Each conference’s No. 2 seed will face their respective conference’s highest-seeded knockout round winner. The higher-seeded team will host the second leg of the two-game series. The four winning teams of each semifinal series, two from each conference, will advance to the conference championship.
After a break in play to observe the FIFA window from Nov. 6-14, playoff action will resume with the two-game, aggregate-goal format, conference championship series to be played Tuesday, Nov. 21 (first leg) and the following week between Nov. 28-30 (second leg).
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule
*Subject to change. Canadian and international broadcast information to be announced at a later date.
(Conference third seed vs. sixth, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)
Eastern and Western Conference Knockout Round (4 games)
- October 25 Two Games Times TBD (UniMás)
- October 26 Two Games Times TBD (UniMás, one game each on FS1 & ESPN2)
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format between conference top seed vs. lowest advancing seed from Knockout Round and conference second seed vs. highest seed from Knockout Round)
Eastern Conference Semifinal Series
Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (2 games)
- Monday, Oct. 30 Time TBD (FS1)
- Tuesday, Oct. 31 Time TBD (ESPN)
Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (2 games)
- Sunday, Nov. 5 Times TBD (ESPN, FS1)
*both games will be played on the same day.
Western Conference Semifinal Series
Western Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (2 games)
- Sunday, Oct. 29 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Tuesday, Oct. 31 Time TBD (FS1)
Western Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (2 games)
*both games will be played on the same day
- Sunday, Nov. 5 Times TBD (ESPN, FS1)
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format)
Eastern Conference Championship
Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1 (1 game)
- Tuesday, Nov. 21 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (1 game)
- Nov. 28 or 29 Time TBD (FS1)
Western Conference Championship
Western Conference Championship Leg 1 (1 game)
- Tuesday, Nov. 21 Time TBD (FS1)
Western Conference Championship Leg 2 (1 game)
- Thursday, Nov. 30 Time TBD (ESPN)
2017 MLS Cup
(Hosted at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular season record)
- Saturday, Dec. 9 4 p.m. ET (ESPN, UniMás, TSN, TVA Sports)