NEW YORK – Regardless which Major League Soccer club hosts the game — Atlanta United, the Red Bulls, New York City FC or another team — MLS Cup will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m., the league announced Wednesday morning.
The game will air on the FOX broadcast network, Spanish-language broadcast partner UniMás, and in Canada on TSN (English) and TVA Sports (French). The match will also be broadcast across more than 170 countries worldwide.
The MLS Cup Playoffs schedule has been set and for the fourth consecutive season, all postseason games will be broadcast nationally across the league’s domestic U.S. partners ESPN, FS1, and UniMás, and in Canada on TSN and TVA Sports networks.
Qualification for the postseason will follow the format implemented in 2015, with the top six teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences qualifying.
After the close of regular season play on MLS Decision Day Sunday, Oct. 28, the playoffs will begin with four knockout-round matches played Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
The playoffs continue for the Eastern and Western Conference semifinal series (Sundays, Nov. 4 and 11). Four games will be played on each of the match dates, and just four teams, two from each conference, will advance from the two-game, aggregate-goal, home-and-home series to the conference championships.
The conference championship matches will be Sunday, Nov. 25 and Thursday, Nov. 29, in doubleheaders that will decide the MLS Cup contenders.
As it has been since the 2012 season, the 2018 MLS Cup will be played at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular-season record.
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule
*Subject to change. Canadian and international broadcast information to be announced at a later date.
(Conference third seed vs. sixth seed, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)
Eastern and Western Conference Knockout Round (4 games)
- Wed. Oct. 31 Two Games Times TBD (UniMás, English-Language broadcast to be announced**)
- Thurs., Nov. 1 Two Games Times TBD (UniMás, English-Language broadcast to be announced **)
** UniMás will broadcast all four Knockout Round matches. ESPN2 and FS1 will each broadcast one of the four Knockout Round matches.
Conference Semifinal Series
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal, home-and-home format between conference top seed vs. lowest advancing seed from Knockout Round and conference second seed vs. highest seed from Knockout Round)
Eastern & Western Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (4 games, hosted by the lower-seeded teams)
- Sun., Nov. 4 Four Games Times TBD (two games each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes)
Eastern & Western Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (4 games, hosted by the higher-seeded teams)
- Sun., Nov. 11 Four Games Times TBD (two games each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes)
Conference Championship Series
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal, home-and-home format)
Conference Championship Leg 1 (2 games, hosted by the lower-seeded teams)
- Sun., Nov. 25 Two Games Times TBD (one game each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes)
Conference Championships Leg 2 (2 games, hosted by the higher-seeded teams)
- Thurs., Nov. 29 Two Games Times TBD (one game each on ESPN/ESPN Deportes and FS1/ FOX Deportes)
2018 MLS Cup
(Hosted at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular season record)
- Saturday, Dec. 8 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX, UniMás, TSN, TVA Sports)