- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The top three teams in each of Major League Soccer’s two conference will be joined in the playoffs this fall by the next four teams with the highest point totals.

The playoffs expand by two teams this year to 10 with the league increasing to 18 teams with the addition of the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Last year, the playoffs include the two conference champions and the next six teams.

The playoff expansion was announced last fall, with the format announced Wednesday.

The four teams not guaranteed automatic berths from their conference will play one-match knockout games hosted by higher seeds. The winners advance to the home-and-home, total-goals conference semifinals. The conference finals will remain one-match knockout games, as will the MLS Cup.