MLS to allow 4th substitute in extra time of postseason matches

Teams that qualify for the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs will have the opportunity to use a fourth substitution in matches that go to extra time, Major League Soccer announced Thursday.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which enforces and makes changes to the laws of the sport, gave MLS approval to go ahead with the plan for this season’s playoff fixtures.

Coaches can make a fourth substitution even if they’ve used the previous three over 90 minutes of regulation time.

MLS is the latest league to adopt the new protocol after successful trials in the FA Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.

The play-in matches in the Eastern and Western Conferences are more likely to feature a fourth substitute than the other two-legged playoff games, which draw on the away-goals rule as a tiebreaker.

Last season’s MLS Cup final between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders went to a penalty shootout, and in a similar situation, the coaches of both teams could use an extra body.

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MLS | theScore

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