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MLS announces schedule for 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs

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Sounders could be without a few starters if same quarantine rules apply.

MLS: MLS Cup-Toronto FC vs Seattle FC Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It will be a three-week sprint to the title, as Major League Soccer announced the schedule for the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Games will begin on Nov. 20, and culminate with MLS Cup on Dec. 12.

MLS will begin its 25th playoff tournament with the Eastern Conference play-in round games on Friday, November 20. There won’t be much of a break however, as the Eastern and Western Conference quarterfinal match-ups start the next day, and run through Tuesday, November 24.

After taking the Thanksgiving holiday off, the Conference semi-final matches begin on Sunday November 29 with two games, and one game each on Tuesday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 2. The Conference championships commence on December 6 with a double header.

The upshot of all this is that while games won’t be playing during the FIFA international window, they will start before players have completed their nine-day quarantines. The First Round of games — when the Sounders will enter — are scheduled to be played Nov. 21, 22 and 24. Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru), Gustav Svensson (Sweden) and Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador) are all expected to be called up. All three countries have games scheduled for Nov. 17. A nine-day quarantine would leave them ineligible until the Western Conference semifinals (Nov. 29, Dec. 1-2).

Ruidíaz is the only one who has been officially called up at this point, but is not expected to need to quarantine according to Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey.

MLS also announced broadcast windows for the games, though fans will have to wait until the conclusion of Decision Day to see what days and times their teams land on. As has been the case in the past, FOX/FS1, ABC/ESPN and TUDN will cover all of the matches in the United States. TSN will handle the broadcast duties in Canada.

As of now, there is no indication that MLS will move the playoffs to a centralized location as they did for the MLS is Back Tournament this summer. Nor was any guidance provided on allowing fans in for playoff games in locations where local officials have not authorized it. Seattle Sounders Coach Brian Schmetzer previously poured cold water on the likelihood of the Sounders having fans attend playoff games.

Eastern Conference Play-In Round (2 games) [All times PST]

(The lower-seeded advancing team will face the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed in Round 1, while the higher-seeded advancing team will face the Eastern Conference No. 2 seed.)

Friday, Nov. 20

(two games)

3:30 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports .

5:30 p.m. ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Eastern and Western Conference Round One (8 games)

(Western Conference No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed, No. 2 vs No. 7 seed, No. 3 vs. No. 6 seed, Nov. 4 vs No. 5 seed. Eastern Conference No. 1 vs lower advancing Play-In Round seed, No. 2 vs. higher advancing Play-In Round seed, No. 3 vs. No. 6 seed, Nov. 4 vs No. 5 seed)

Saturday, Nov. 21

(two games)

9 a.m. UniMás/TUDN, TSN, TVA Sports

Noon UniMás/TUDN, TSN, TVA Sports

Sunday, Nov. 22

(three games)

1 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

4:30 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

7 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Tuesday, Nov. 24

(three games)

3 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

5 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

7:30 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Eastern and Western Conference Semifinal (4 games)

(One single-elimination game, winners advance to Conference Final)

Sunday, Nov. 29

(two games)

Noon ABC/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

5 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Tuesday, Dec. 1

(one game)

3:30 or 6 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Wednesday, Dec. 2

(one game)

3:30 or 6 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

Eastern and Western Conference Final (2 games)

(One single-elimination game, winners advance to MLS Cup)

Sunday, Dec. 6

(two games)

Noon ABC/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

3:30 p.m. FS1/FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports

2020 MLS Cup (1 game)

(Eastern Conference Champion vs. Western Conference Champion One single-elimination game that will crown the 2020 MLS Cup Champion.)

Saturday, Dec. 12

5 p.m. FOX, UniMás//TUDN, TSN, TVA Sports