MLS NEXT Pro today announced the format and schedule for the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. Following a dynamic first season in 2022, eight of the League’s 21 clubs will qualify for the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs – four each from the Eastern and Western Conferences. Within each conference, the two Division Champions plus the two teams with the next-highest point totals will qualify.
The 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs will consist of seven single-elimination matches hosted by the higher-seeded club across three consecutive weekends. Following MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day this Sunday, September 18, the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs will begin the weekend of September 23 and culminate with MLS NEXT Pro Cup on October 8:
- Conference Semifinals (four matches): September 23-25 (No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3)
- Conference Finals (two matches): September 30-October 2
- MLS NEXT Pro Cup (one match): October 8
Fans will be able to watch every match of the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs and MLS NEXT Pro Cup live via enhanced broadcasts on mlsnextpro.com.
Final seeding for the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs will be determined on Decision Day on Sunday. Three playoff spots remain unclaimed in the Eastern Conference, with Columbus Crew 2 (52 points, 15-3-5) being the sole team in the East to have clinched their position. The West is set: Tacoma Defiance (49 points, 14-5-4), St Louis CITY2 (48 points, 15-6-2), North Texas SC (46 points, 13-5-5) and Houston Dynamo 2 (46 points, 13-5-5) have all clinched spots and enter Decision Day awaiting their final seeding.
Decision Day will feature 10 intraconference matches: five Eastern Conference matches will kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET, followed by five Western Conference matches beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. All matches can be viewed on mlsnextpro.com and the excitement of Decision Day can be followed on Twitter and Instagram.