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Forum » Football Talk » MLS » MLS 2008 Rules Of Competition
MLS 2008 Rules Of Competition
goooltvDate: Friday, 15 August 2008, 2:03 PM | Message # 1
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2008 RULES OF COMPETITION
Structure: The fourteen (14) MLS teams are divided into two conferences:
Eastern Conference - Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Toronto FC
Western Conference - Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dyanmo, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes

Schedule: Each team plays a 30-game regular season schedule. Each MLS team will play two games against the other 13 teams (one home, one away) accounting for 26 games of the season. The remaining four games are played against intra-conference foes.

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS FORMAT
Who Qualifies: Eight teams qualify for the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs. Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season. All 14 teams will have played 30 games.
i. The top three teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1, 2 & 3 in their respective four-team playoff conference brackets.
ii. The two MLS teams with the next most points, regardless of conference, receive "wildcard" berths.
1. The two wildcard teams will be seeded according to conference first.
2. If more than four teams qualify from one conference, the team finishing lower than fourth in its conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.
3. A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.
Playoff Format: Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower seeded team in the Conference Semifinal hosts the first game. The winners of those four series advance to single-game Conference Championships that will determine the MLS Cup Finalists.
The team that scores the most goals in the home-and-home series advances to the single elimination Conference Championship. If the teams are tied after 180 minutes in the Conference Semifinal series, a 30-minute extra time period (divided into two 15-minute periods) will be played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary. The team with the higher seed between the two Conference finalists will host the Conference Championship game.
In the case of ties after 90 minutes of regulation in the Eastern and Western Conference Championship games and MLS Cup, 30 minutes of extra time (divided into two 15-minute periods) would be played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary, to determine the winners.
TEAM-STANDINGS TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURES
The team awarded the highest position in the MLS standings will be the team with the greatest number of points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss). In the event that two teams finish the regular season with an equal number of points, the following system will be used to break the tie:
1) The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)
2) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)
3) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)
4) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played on the road by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (road 1-3)
5) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the procedures described in this section shall be applied only to games played at home by each team against all other teams during the regular season. (home 1-3)
6) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the fewest team disciplinary points in the League Fair Play table during the regular season.
7) If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position in the standings shall be determined by the toss of a coin.
8) The first tiebreaker in a three-way tie is also head-to-head, but it is determined via points-per-game versus the other two teams. If two teams are tied in points-per-game head-to-head, the next tie breaker is goal difference.
NOTE: If two clubs remain tied after another club with the same number of points advances during any step, the tie breaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format.

 
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