Major League Soccer will have 10 playoff teams and more games between regional rivals under new competition policies in 2012.
MLS made several announcements about next season's schedule before Sunday's MLS Cup between Los Angeles and Houston.
Next year's MLS Cup will be hosted by the finalist with the most regular-season points, a long-rumored change from the league's tradition of neutral-site championship games.
After a regular season weighted for games within each conference, five teams will make the postseason from each conference. The bottom two seeds will play a knockout game to determine who takes on each conference's top seed in a two-game aggregate-goal format.
The conference finals also will be played in a two-game series, a change from this season's winner-take-all finals for an MLS Cup berth.