2012 MLS Cup Playoff Schedule: A Look Ahead

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

With the Fire heading back into the playoffs for the first time since 2009, I figure now would be a good time to start getting an idea of when you need to have your schedule clear. Fortunately, thanks to Brendan Hannan, HTIOT can provide you the info you need now

Brendan just sent this data over to us, so I wanted to give a tip of the hat to him. Although exact dates and times are still hard to pin down until the regular season standings are final, the chart below should give you an idea of when the games are happening. I know I will be making sure my schedule is clear ahead of these dates, and hopefully you can do the same. If the Fire can finish out the last 2 games with 6 points, there is a good chance that we could have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. I don't know about you, but I think a sold out, rocking Toyota Park for a playoff game is a long overdue sight for us Fire fans. It has been too long, but fortunately that drought looks set to end in the very near future.

As the schedule gets more specific and TV information is added, we will be sure to update the story accordingly.

Wild Card Games, OT & PKs if necessary (2 games)

Time (ET)

324

Wed.

Oct.

31

325

Thurs.

Nov.

1

9:00PM

9-11:30

Conference Semifinals - Leg 1 (4 games)

326

Sat.

Nov.

3

327

Sat.

Nov.

3

8:00PM

8-10:30

328

Sun.

Nov.

4

3:30PM

3:30-6

329

Sun.

Nov.

4

9:00PM

9-11

Conference Semifinals - Leg 2, OT & PKs if necessary (4 games)

330

Wed.

Nov.

7

331

Wed.

Nov.

7

332

Thurs.

Nov.

8

Prime

2 ½ hours

333

Thurs.

Nov.

8

9:00PM

9-11:30

Conference Championship - Leg 1 (2 games)

334

Sat.

Nov.

10

3:30PM

3:30-6

335

Sun.

Nov.

11

9:00PM

9-11:30

Conf. Championship - Leg 2, OT & PKs if necessary (2 games)

336 or

Sat.

Nov.

17

10:30PM

10:30-1

336

Sun.

Nov.

18

Afternoon

2 ½ hours

337

Sun.

Nov.

18

9:00PM

9-11:30

MLS Cup, OT & PKs if necessary

338

Sat.

Dec.

1

4:30PM

4:30-7

Notes:

· Both Elimination Wild Card Games could take place on Oct. 31.

ABOUT THE 2012 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS

The top five teams in points from each conference at the end of the regular season (10 total) will 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.

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