MLS Cup Playoff schedule

The MLS Cup Playoffs will begin Oct. 26 and conclude with MLS Cup 2011 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN, Galavision, and TSN2). The schedule is below with tentative matchups; further details to be announced by MLS on Oct. 23 or 24.

The 16th MLS Cup Playoffs will consist of 13 total games, with a break for FIFA fixture dates (Nov. 11 & 15) between the conference championships and MLS Cup.

Ten teams will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs upon the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 23. The top three teams in each conference will enter as automatic qualifiers and the next four teams, regardless of conference, will enter the Wild Card Games.

The 2011 MLS Cup Playoff schedule is below. (In italics, prospective teams are listed as if the season ended today, but in reality, each team still has 2-4 games left in the regular season, and the standings are almost certain to change by Oct. 24).

Wild Card Games – hosted by higher seed; single elimination

(Currently Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas and New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids)

- Wed., Oct. 26 (possibly both wild card games)

- Thurs., Oct. 27

Conference Semifinals, First Leg – hosted by lower seed

(Currently LA Galaxy at lowest remaining wild card; Sporting Kansas City at other remaining wild card; Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake; and Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew)

Sat., Oct. 29

-Sat., Oct. 29

-Sun., Oct. 30

-Sun., Oct. 30

Conference Semifinals, Second Leg –hosted by higher seed; winner by aggregate goals

(Currently lowest wild card at LA Galaxy; other remaining wild card team at Sporting Kansas City; Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders FC; and Columbus Crew at Philadelphia Union)

Wed., Nov. 2

- Wed., Nov. 2

- Thurs., Nov. 3

- Thurs., Nov. 3

Conference Championships – hosted by higher seed; single elimination

- Sat., Nov. 5

- Sun., Nov. 6

NOTE: A break occurs here due to FIFA fixtures on Nov. 11 &15.

MLS Cup 2011 – at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; single-game final

- Sun., Nov. 20

NOTE: No team will be scheduled to play on Thursday and Saturday of a given week.