The USL Championship announced today its playoff structure for the 2021 season, which will feature 16 teams when the regular season concludes in the last weekend of October.
Following the announcement of the Championship’s divisional alignment in March, the top four teams from each division in the regular season will advance into a regionalized single-elimination bracket. The top two clubs in each of the Atlantic, Central, Mountain and Pacific Divisions will earn hosting rights in the Eastern and Western Conference Quarterfinals, regardless of total points.
Last season, Hartford Athletic qualified for the playoffs for the first time in its young history by winning regional Group F. The Boys in Green fell to Saint Louis FC 1-0 in the first every playoff match at Dillon Stadium. Hartford will compete in the USL's Atlantic Division in 2021 as they look to qualify for the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
Division winners will be matched with the fourth-place team, while second-placed teams will meet third-placed teams from the opposing division in the Conference Quarterfinals, matching up teams from the Atlantic Division and Central Division in the Eastern Conference and the Mountain and Pacific Division in the Western Conference.
Following the Conference Quarterfinals round, home advantage will be determined by total points earned, regardless of division rank, for the remainder of the postseason.
The Championship season will conclude with the USL Championship Final on Sunday, November 28 with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN or ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes.