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MLS to use single-elimination playoffs

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Major League Soccer is shortening its season by a month, going to single-elimination playoffs and scheduling the 2019 MLS Cup final for Nov. 10 in its earliest finish since 2002.

The league announced the change Monday and will have an all-knockout postseason in place of a two-leg format for the conference semifinals and finals. MLS had started using a two-leg, total-goals format in 2003.

After then-U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann criticized the league's season as being too short, MLS stretched its schedule into December each year starting in 2012. Klinsmann was fired in November 2016.

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