With 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spots, Supporters’ Shield honors and the Golden Boot scoring title on the line, MLS has announced coverage details for Sunday's Decision Day action.
Broadcast partners ESPN and FS1 have selected two of the most compelling games to bring to a national audience as all 20 clubs, playing intraconference matches, kick off the final day of regular-season action simultaneously at 4 pm ET.
In addition to live game coverage, each broadcast will feature live look-ins and match analysis of all 10 matchups. Decision Day will air in more than 170 countries.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air the Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake match, as the two teams battle to secure a place among the three remaining Western Conference playoff spots. A tie may not be enough for these two, but both teams control their own destiny and are “in with a win.”
Airing parallel to the ESPN and ESPN Deportes game broadcast, ESPN2’s “MLS Decision Day Whiparound” studio show will provide two hours of unprecedented Decision Day coverage, bringing fans every goal, save and key moment from around the final day of action.
FS1 and FOX Deportes will showcase the LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas game live from StubHub Center, as Dallas look to capture the top seed in the playoffs alongside Supporters’ Shield honors.
In Canada, TSN will air the Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers game that will decide if the reigning MLS Cup champs can climb above the red line and secure a spot in the postseason to defend their title. TSN4 and RDS will carry Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire.
The remaining Decision Day matchups will be available through regional broadcasts and on MLS LIVE. MLS LIVE will offer a special one-day pass, providing 24 hours of access for a special rate of $7.99. Standard MLS LIVE blackout rules apply.
MLSsoccer.com will again provide expert analysis during the “MLS Matchday Live – Decision Day Pregame” show, preparing fans for the most exciting day of the season. Digital coverage begins at 3 pm ET on the MLS Facebook page, MLS YouTube channel, and broadcast partner platforms ESPN3, FoxSportsGo, TSNGO, skysports.com, Sky Sports Facebook page, the Sky Sports App for Smartphones and the FOX Sports Africa Facebook page.
Following the final whistle, the “MLS Matchday Live – Decision Day Postgame” show will return to the same digital platforms (with the exception of Sky Sports properties) to analyze the action, debate the playoffs contenders and look ahead to the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Featured guests will include MLS coaching legend and former Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid and former Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie.
Fans following the action on social media can join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter using the #DecisionDay hashtag. Visit the Standings page for live standings, updated every 30 seconds throughout Decision Day.
- The top six teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs and be seeded 1-6 in their respective conferences.
- The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in each conference will host the No. 6 and No. 5 seeds in a single-elimination knockout game. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will get a bye to the Conference Semifinals. The lower-seeded winners of each knockout game will face the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences. The higher-seeded winners from the knockout games will face the No. 2 seed in the conferences.
- The four Conference Semifinals will be decided by a a two-game aggregate series, with the lower seed hosting the 1st leg and the higher seed hosting the 2nd leg.
- If the aggregate score is tied after 180 minutes of play, the away goals tiebreaker rule will apply so as to be consistent with CONCACAF and FIFA practice.
- If the series remains tied, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.
- The away goals tiebreaker will not apply to extra time in the 2nd leg of any two-legged playoff series.
- 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.
- The same tiebreakers will apply in the Conference Championships as in the Conference Semifinals.
- If the score is tied after 90 minutes of play, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety, followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary.
- MLS Cup will be a single championship match hosted by the finalist with the most regular season points. If the two finalists have the same number of regular season points, the tiebreakers for MLS Cup Playoff qualification will be applied to determine the host team.
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:
- Total number of wins
- Goal Differential (GD)
- Goals For (GF)
- Fewest Disciplinary Points
- Away Goals Differential
- Away Goal For
- Home Goals Differential
- Home Goal For
- Coin Toss (tie of 2 clubs) or Drawing of Lots (tie of 3 or more clubs)