The 2012 Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs are underway, and online fans have pitch perfect methods to watch MLS live online. As David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy look to defend their MLS Cup championship, you can watch MLS playoffs live or on demand after the matches are finished and follow your team’s quest for the MLS 2012 Cup.
While some of the earlier round matches are not available live online, you can watch MLS playoffs live during the Conference Semifinal rounds scheduled November 2nd through November 8th, Conference Championship rounds November 10th through the 18th of the month, and the 2012 MLS Cup game on December 1st. Don’t expect any free kicks, though. If you want to watch soccer online during the MLS playoffs, your only options are a paid subscription service that does not carry live games, or a no-cost service that offers games both live and on demand, but requires you to log-in with a valid cable subscription.
WHICH 2012 MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PLAYOFF GAMES ARE ONLINE?
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Only the 2012 Major League Soccer playoff games shown online will be the Western Conference games (Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Jose, and Los Angeles) and the MLS 2012 Cup Championship game. The Eastern Conference Semifinals match-ups, New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, will not be available live online – only on demand afterwards, and costs $14.99. These matches and the Eastern Conference Championships will be broadcast on television on the NBC Sports Network cable channel, and a couple of them will be nationally televised on NBC. The MLS Eastern Conference playoff matches will not be shown live online, but the Western Conference playoffs and the MLS 2012 Cup game will be available online. The good news is that the Western Conference features the Major League Soccer’s top two stars, David Beckham and Landon Donovan.
WATCH DAVID BECKHAM PLAY IN THE 2012 MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYOFFS ON WATCHESPN
Most of the Western Conference playoffs will be broadcast live online on WatchESPN, the web site that lets you watch ESPN online. WatchESPN is “free” to watch – that is, free to valid cable subscribers. They can log-in to WatchESPN for a live stream of any event on ESPN or ESPN2. Once logged-in, subscribers get a full HD simulcast of the ESPN game broadcast on a computer, or on a smartphone or tablet with the free WatchESPN app. The 2012 Major League Soccer playoff games on WatchESPN are available to watch or re-watch on demand afterwards until 48 hours after the conclusion of the match.
Both games of the San Jose Earthquakes-Los Angeles Galaxy Western Conference semifinal will be available on WatchESPN (Sunday, November 4th at 3 p.m. EST and Wednesday, November 7th at 5 p.m. EST). Those are the games where you’ll be able to watch David Beckham and Landon Donovan play. Additionally, the decisive Game 2 of the Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake semifinal series will be on WatchESPN (Thursday, November 8th at 8:30 p.m. EST). Those series’ winners will face off in the Western Conference Championships (November 11th and 18th at 8 p.m. ET), also on WatchESPN. The MLS Cup championship game will be broadcast online at WatchESPN, at 4:30 p.m. ET on December 1st.
WATCH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER ONLINE ON MLS LIVE
The closest thing to an all-access option for the 2012 Major League Soccer playoffs is a subscription service called MLS Live, which delivers all the MLS playoff games — both the Eastern and Western Conference – on demand after the game is finished, but no live games during the playoffs. For $14.99, you can get a one-month subscription to MLS Live that will last through the remainder of the playoffs – it just won’t allow you to watch all the playoff games live. MLS Live provides online access to complete video of the matches 48 hours after the completion of each individual game. Many of those matches are still available live online — the Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup games are being streamed live on WatchESPN.
You can also watch MLS Live on an iPad, iPhone, or Roku TV player at no additional cost. Just buy a subscription to MLS Live, and download the free app to watch the games on an iOS mobile device or your Roku player. Unfortunately, the MLS Live version that supports viewing matches is not available for Android devices.
You should also be sure to cancel your subscription to MLS Live once you’ve watched all the games. That $14.99 monthly charge will automatically renew on your credit card every month – even when the playoffs are over – unless you specifically unsubscribe to the service.
Will Beckham and the Galaxy repeat their championship performance of last season’s playoffs? Does the MLS Cup winner stand a chance in the 2013-14 Champions League competition? How do you frustrated Eastern Conference fans follow the matches online? Feel free to pull out your red cards by sounding off in the comments below.