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Midday Kickaround

*DCU's Santino Quaranta has a broken hand, but will not miss any matches.

*Did you know that MLS has changed the playoff format again? I don't believe the league ever announced anything -- let me know if I'm wrong about that -- but according to the 2008 rules of competition, the top three teams in each conference are guaranteed playoff spots with the final two berths going to the clubs with the most points, regardless of conference affiliation. Last year only the first two in each division were assured of postseason play followed by the next four. (Kansas City finished fifth in the East, but was the No. 4 seed in the West.)

Just to get you up to date on the increasingly congested MLS calendar, New England and Chivas USA will begin Champions League play Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 2-4. The rest of the schedule looks like this, with DCU and Houston entering at the group stage:

Early Sept.: Draw for Stage 2 - Group Stage
Sept. 16-18: Group Stage - Game 1
Sept. 23-25: Group Stage - Game 2
Sept. 30-Oct. 2: Group Stage - Game 3
Oct. 7-9: Group Stage - Game 4
Oct. 21-23: Group Stage - Game 5
Oct. 28-30: Group Stage - Game 6
Early Nov.: Draw for Stage 3 - Elimination Round
Feb. 24-26, 2009: Quarterfinal, Game 1
March 3-5: Quarterfinal, Game 2
March 17-19: Semifinal, Game 1
April 7-9: Semifinal, Game 2
April 21-23: Final, Game 1
April 28-30: Final, Game 2

By Steve Goff  |  April 7, 2008; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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