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How the new playoff format affects extra time and PKs

With the Union's Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs contest against New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium just days away, the match marks the debut of a new postseason format and with it comes some new things you'll need to know.

First off, there are no longer two-leg series like in years past, which will be replaced by a single-elimination knockout tournament. Win and you're through. Lose and you go home. That much is simple.

It also means a new way of settling tiebreakers. Under the old format, away goals were the first tiebreaker in all two-legged playoff series leading up to MLS Cup. With the new single-elimination format away goals are no longer a factor. In the event that a game ends in a draw, here's what happens next:

  • If the match is tied through 90 minutes of regulation, the teams will play two 15-minute extra time periods.
  • If the match is still tied after extra time, it will head to penalties, where each team will have five attempts from the spot to decide a winner.
  • If the shootout is still tied after five kicks, it will continue into sudden death kicks until a winner is determined.

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