Do you want to know how to watch the MLS Cup Playoffs online? In this article, we’ll explain where you can live stream the playoffs and how you can watch from the US or abroad using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). We’ll also show you a workaround to bypass regional MLS live blackout restrictions.
12 teams will compete in the 2018 Major League Soccer playoffs starting October 31, 2018. Six teams from each conference clinched places in the playoffs, which will culminate in the final match on December 8. Fans can stream the playoffs online, but access to those streams is dependent on where you live.
Viewers inside the United States and Canada are subject to blackout restrictions when watching local teams, while those abroad might be blocked from watching entirely. In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on how to watch the MLS Cup playoffs live online, including some advice on how to unblock geographically restricted streams.
Read on to find out how to live stream MLS Cup playoff games from the US, Canada, and abroad.
Bypass blackouts and geo-locks with a VPN
Regional blackout restrictions may prevent you from being able to live stream MLS games that include your favorite local teams. This is because local broadcasters have bought exclusive rights to show the game on TV, so online viewers are blocked from watching. And if you live outside of the US and Canada, you might be blocked from watching the playoffs entirely.
To get around these geographic licensing restrictions, we recommend using a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of the user’s choosing. In this case, you just need to:
- Sign up for a VPN, ExpressVPN works well for this.
- Install the app,
- And connect to a server in the US that’s outside of the blackout region.
- Watch games without live blackout restrictions
This “spoofs” your location and unblocks the stream accordingly. Once connected, just open a web browser and start watching.
Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, which has servers in dozens of locations in the US and Canada. ExpressVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and speeds fast enough to stream in high quality without stopping to buffer. You’ll also get top-of-the-line security and the privacy of a no-logs policy. Not every server will work, so just shoot a quick message to the 24/7 live support team (available on the ExpressVPN website) to ask which location to connect to. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and certain wifi routers.
EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: Get 3 months free here with ExpressVPN’s annual plan. The deal includes a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Note that a VPN disguises your location by masking your device’s unique IP address with that of the VPN server. Some streaming apps, such as ESPN+ for iOS and Android, use your GPS location to determine where you are, rather than your IP address. In this case, we recommend using the VPN to watch on desktop, not on mobile.
How to watch MLS Cup Playoffs 2018 live online
From the USA: ESPN+
MLS LIVE is now on ESPN+, the sports network’s new on-demand streaming service. It costs $4.99 per month to watch out-of-market games live, and a 7-day free trial is available.
If you’re abroad or in a blackout region, ExpressVPN can unblock ESPN+ in a desktop browser. To unblock ESPN+ in a web browser, we’ve found its best to use incognito mode (Chrome) or private browsing (Firefox) in addition to the VPN. Not every US server will work, so contact ExpressVPN’s live chat support team to ask which server is best for you.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to unblock ESPN+ streams on mobile. The Android and iOS ESPN+ apps require your GPS to be enabled to determine your location. Even if we fake our GPS location with a GPS spoofing app, it won’t unblock the stream. So you’re stuck watching on a web browser for now.
From Canada: DAZN
DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that operates in a few countries, including Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada. It will live stream all MLS games that are not broadcast on CTV, TSN, or TVAS. Games that include Canadian teams will be blacked out no matter where you are in Canada, unfortunately. In that case, use a VPN and try ESPN+.
DAZN costs $20 per month or $150 annually and comes with a 1-month free trial.
ExpressVPN can unblock the Canadian version of DAZN from anywhere in the world so you can live stream the MLS Cup playoffs. Even if you signed up for DAZN from another country, you can unblock the Canadian version with a VPN. Not every Canadian server will work, so we recommend contacting ExpressVPN’s live chat support to ask which location to connect to.
From Europe: Sky Go and Eurosport Player
If you have a subscription to one of these services but are not located in Europe, you can unblock them using ExpressVPN. Not all European servers are guaranteed to work, so we recommend asking ExpressVPN’s live chat support which locations to connect to.
MLS Cup Playoffs 2018 schedule
The playoffs kick off with MLS Decision Day on October 28, on which 11 matches will take place. You can check the schedule, where to watch, and where each game is blacked out on the MLS website.
After Decision Day, the tournament will be in full swing and we’ll know who plays where as teams advance through the bracket. You can keep an eye on schedule updates here.
These are the qualified teams in the Eastern conference:
- Atlanta United
- D.C. United
- New York City FC
- New York Red Bulls
- Philadelphia Union
And the Western conference:
- FC Dallas
- Los Angeles FC
- Portland Timbers
- Seattle Sounders
- Sporting Kansas City
The two remaining seeds are still up for grabs, one for each conference:
- Columbus Crew
- Montreal Impact
- Real Salt Lake
- LA Galaxy