MLS

MLS Cup 2021 Conference Finals schedule: dates, times and games

We've reached the serious business end of the MLS Cup as teams from the Eastern and Western conferences eye a place in the final for a chance of silverware.

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MLS Cup 2021 Playoffs: semi-final schedule: dates, times and games
Ron Chenoy USA TODAY Sports

We saw the 2021 MLS playoffs get underway on 20 November with a total of 14 teams making the postseason. That process of single-elimination knockouts has moved us closer to finding out this year's champion, with the semi-final schedule now clear.

2021 MLS Cup: playoff bracket

Eastern Conference

First Round:

Philadelphia 1-0 NY Red Bulls

Nashville SC 3-1 Orlando City

NYCFC 2-0 Atlanta United

Conference Semifinals:

New England Revolution 2-2 NYCFC (3-5 pens)

Philadelphia Union 1-1 Nashville (2-0 pens)

Conference Final:

Philadelphia Union vs. NYCFC - Sunday 5 December, 3 pm ET

Western Conference

First Round:

Seattle Sounders 0-0 Real Salt Lake (RSL win on pens)

Sporting KC 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Portland Timbers 3-1 Minnesota United

Conference Semifinals:

Colorado Rapids 4-1 Portland

Sporting KC 1-2 Real Salt Lake

Conference Final:

Portland vs. Real Salt Lake - Saturday 4 December, 6:30 pm ET

MLS Cup Final

East vs West conference winners - Saturday 11 December 3 pm ET

MLS Cup playoffs: how they work

The playoffs are comprised of 12 single-elimination matches that leave us with two finalists from each conference. The finalists then play for the MLS Cup on 11 December.

First round: Three matches in each conference pitting No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. The No. 1 seed gets a bye. Higher seeds host.

Conference semis: It’s predetermined that the No. 1 seed will face the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 match. The other two winners face off: No. 3/No. 6 vs. No. 2/No. 7.

Conference finals: The final two teams left standing in each conference meet at the home of the highest remaining seed.

MLS Cup: The two conference champions meet at MLS Cup, hosted by the team with the best record across the season.

The same extra time rules apply to the playoffs. There is 30 minutes of extra time after 90 minutes of regulation, and a penalty-kick shootout, if necessary.