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A look ahead at Major League Soccer's playoff matchups

The Galaxy will play Real Salt Lake on Sunday at StubHub Center in Carson in a Western Conference semifinal matchup.

October 29, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. The Galaxy open the playoffs Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, center, celebrates with his teammates after… (Ted S. Warren / Associated…)

Major League Soccer's playoffs start this week with 10 teams vying for the MLS championship.

In the Western Conference, the postseason opens Wednesday with the Seattle Sounders playing host to the Colorado Rapids in a one-game "knockout round."

The winner advances to the semifinals to meet the first-place Portland Timbers on Saturday in the first match of their two-game conference semifinal — one game is played at home, one away.

In the other Western Conference semifinal pairing, the Galaxy — seeking its third consecutive MLS championship — will play Real Salt Lake on Sunday at StubHub Center.

In the Eastern Conference, the Houston Dynamo plays host to the Montreal Impact in the other knockout game Thursday.

The winner of that match faces the first-place New York Red Bulls on Sunday in the first game of their two-leg semifinal.

In the other Eastern Conference semifinal, the New England Revolution will play host to Sporting KC for the first game Saturday.

The second legs of both conference semifinals will be played Nov. 6-7.

Winners of the semifinals advance to the two-game conference finals to decide which two teams meet in the title game.

The first games of the conference finals are Nov. 9-10 and the second are Nov. 23-24.

In the knockout games, if the teams are tied at the end of regulation, there will be 30 minutes of extra time (two 15-minute halves). And if the match is still tied, there would be a penalty kick shootout to determine the winner.

In the conference semifinals and finals, the winners are determined by aggregate goals scored over both games and there is no "away goal" premium. Each goal is counted as one regardless of whether it's scored home or away.

If those aggregate scores are tied after the two games in any of the semifinal or final matches, those games also would use 30 minutes of overtime and then, if necessary, penalty kick shootouts.

The MLS Cup championship game is Dec. 7 and will be hosted by the team in the title game with the best regular-season record.

Twitter: @PeltzLATimes

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