Playoff Format

WHO QUALIFIES

Ten teams, the top five in points from each conference at the end of the regular season, qualify for the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.
 
The fourth and fifth place teams in each conference will play a single knockout game, the winner of which will advance to the Conference Semifinals and face the first place team in the conference.
 
The four Conference Semifinals will be decided by two-game aggregate series, with the lower seed hosting the first leg and the higher seed hosting the second leg. If the aggregate score is tied after 180 minutes of play, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.
 
The two Conference Championships will be decided by a two-game aggregate series, with the lower seed hosting the first leg and the higher seed hosting the second leg. If the aggregate score is tied after 180 minutes of play, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.
 
MLS Cup will be a single championship match hosted by the higher seed. If the score is tied after 90 minutes of play, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.
 

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 (three points for a win, one point for a tie, zero 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:
 
When two or more teams are tied in the standings on points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), the following tiebreakers will be used in the sequence below, until one team ranks ahead of the other(s):

  1. Goals For (See column labeled GF on www.LAGalaxy.com/standings page)
  2. Goal Differential (GD)
  3. Fewest Disciplinary Points (Posted here)
  4. Road Goals
  5. Road Goal Differential
  6. Home Goals
  7. Home Goal Differential
  8. Coin Toss (2 teams) or Drawing of Lots (3 or more)