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Temporada

Regular Season:
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Format:
22 teams, divided into 2 groups of 11 teams each (Eastern Conference and Western Conference) on regional basis.
Each team plays all the others from its own group two to three times - of which at least once home and once away; and and all the teams from the other group once - for a total of 34 games each.

Scoring points:
3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.

Table order:
1. points won; 2. games won; 3. total goals scored; 4. total goal difference; 5. fairplay ranking; 6. total away goals scored; 7. total away goals difference; 8. total home goals scored; 9. total home goals difference; 10. draw.

Qualification for CONCACAF competitions:
1 place of each Conference: CONCACAF Champions League

Qualification for the Final Stages:
1-6 place of each group: qualify for the Final Stages

MLS Supporters' Shield:
Teams' records from the Regular Season are summed (a total of 34 games each) and an unified Summary Table is compiled (MLS Supporters' Shield).

MLS Supporters' Shield Table order:
1. points won; 2. games won; 3. total goals scored; 4. total goal difference; 5. fairplay ranking; 6. total away goals scored; 7. total away goals difference; 8. total home goals scored; 9. total home goals difference; 10. draw.

Qualification for CONCACAF competitions:
the two best placed teams in the MLS Supporters' Shield that haven't qualified otherwise: possible CONCACAF Champions League (depends on MLS Cup and US Open Cup outcomes)
* - Canadian teams (Montreal Impact, Toronto and Whitecaps) are not eligible for CONCACAF Champions League qualification through the MLS.

Relegation from the league:
no established promotion/relegation system

Promotion to the league:
no established promotion/relegation system


Final Stages (MLS Cup):
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Format:
12 teams from the Regular Season contest the MLS Cup winner in a knockout format.
The 4 teams, placed 1st and 2nd in each conference, enter the MLS Cup directly at the Conference Semi-finals.

Play-in Round:
Teams are paired according to their Regular Season standings:
3rd in Eastern Conference vs 6th in Eastern Conference;
4th in Eastern Conference vs 5th in Eastern Conference;
3rd in Western Conference vs 6th in Western Conference;
4th in Western Conference vs 5th in Western Conference.
Winners are decided over one leg, with extra time and penalties if score is level after regular time.
The higher placed teams from the Regular Season are hosts.

Conference Semi-finals:
Teams are paired as follows:
1st in Eastern Conference vs worst placed Eastern Conference team (match A);
2nd in Eastern Conference vs second worst placed Eastern Conference team (match B);
1st in Western Conference vs worst placed Western Conference team (match C);
2nd in Western Conference vs second worst placed Western Conference team (match D).
Winners are decided over two legs.
The higher placed teams from the Regular Season host the second legs.

Conference Finals:
Teams are paired as follows:
winner match A vs winner match B;
winner match C vs winner match D.
Winners are decided over two legs.
The higher placed teams from the Regular Season host the second legs.

Tie-breakers for the knockout matches over two legs:
1. aggregate score from the two legs, 2. extra time, 3. penalties.

Final:
The two Semi-finals winners meet each other with the winner becoming MLS Cup winner.
Winner is decided over one leg, with extra time and penalties if score is level after regular time.
The higher placed team in the MLS Supporters' Shield table is host.

Qualification for CONCACAF competitions:
winner: CONCACAF Champions League
* - Canadian teams (Montreal Impact, Toronto and Whitecaps) are not eligible for CONCACAF Champions League qualification through the MLS.
** - if the MLS Cup winner has already qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League (due to being 1st in one of the conferences in the Regular Season), then the best placed team in the MLS Supporters' Shield table that hasn't qualified enters the competition instead.