Just four days ahead of the opening match of the inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro, league executives announced that no game will end in a draw. ESPN reports that “games tied at the end of 90 minutes will be decided with penalty kicks.”
But the winner of the penalty shootout won’t exactly be the winner. Instead, both teams will get one point for the draw, and the team that comes out on top after the PKs (shoutout to Bob Bradley) will get an additional point.
In other words, in MLS NEXT Pro you get three points for a win, two points for a draw and penalty shootout win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.
Ali Curtis, senior vice president of league operations and competition, told ESPN that resolving draws with a penalty shootout will be fun for the fans, and good preparation for the players. “There’s also kind of this player development aspect to it, Curtis told ESPN. “You have an opportunity to be put in a really stressful situation where there’s pressure, where it means something, and to have that incorporated into our competition, I think from a player development perspective is really additive.”
NYCFC II is one of the founding teams of MLS NEXT Pro, and will open the 2022 season this Sunday, March 27, at 5 pm ET, when they host New England Revolution II at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University in Queens.