MLS confirms points-per-game qualifying change

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Major League Soccer said Thursday its final regular season rankings would be calculated using a points-per-game format after Covid-19 disruption left some teams unable to complete a full 23-game schedule.

In a statement, MLS said the league's regular season would be completed on November 8 and that no games would be scheduled in next month's international window.

Major League Soccer relaunched its season in July with its "MLS is Back" tournament in Orlando following a four-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league resumed regular-season play with teams playing at their home venues in August.

However, with Covid-19 continuing to cause disruption and scattered cases forcing postponement of multiple fixtures, the league has been left struggling to complete its schedule.

MLS chiefs said the Colorado Rapids would not play five games that had initially been rescheduled after postponement.

As things stand, that would allow Colorado to scrape into the playoffs despite having fewer total points than Vancouver, Real Salt Lake and Houston Dynamo.

The Rapids occupy the eighth and final slot in the Western Conference standings with 19 points from 15 games.

Vancouver (24 points), Salt Lake (22) and Houston (21) all have more points but are outside the playoff places because of an inferior points-per-game average.

This year's playoffs are being expanded, with the top 10 teams from the Eastern Conference and top eight teams from the Western Conference advancing to the post-season.