Will Atlanta United make the MLS playoffs? Glad you asked

Will Atlanta United make the playoffs?

If so, what seed will they earn?

I broke down the playoff contenders in the MLS Eastern Conference on Monday.

I think you are going to like how I think things will shake out.

I’ve included what I think is the pivotal game for Atlanta United’s chances of making the playoffs for each team in each capsule.

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Toronto

Record: 13-3-8.

Points: 47.

Games remaining: 10.

Schedule (with predicted result): at Chicago (L), vs. Philadelphia (W), at Montreal (D), vs. San Jose (W), at L.A. Galaxy (W), vs. Montreal (W), at New England (L), vs. New York Red Bulls (D), vs. Montreal (W), at Atlanta United (L).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: at Atlanta United in the regular-season finale.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 89-89-50.

Predicting number of points they will win: 17.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: First, with 64 points.

NYCFC

Record: 13-7-4

Points: 43

Games remaining: 10.

Schedule (with predicted result): vs. New England (W), at New York Red Bulls (L), vs. Sporting KC (D), vs. Portland (W), at Colorado (L), vs. Houston (D), at Montreal (D), at Chicago (L), at New England (W), vs. Columbus (W).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: at Montreal, Sept. 27. A point in that game, which is what I’m predicting will happen, will likely end Montreal’s hopes and eliminate a team from playoff contention.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 93-88-53.

Predicting number of points they will win: 15.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Fourth, with 58 points.

 

Chicago

Record: 12-6-5

Points: 41

Games remaining: 11.

Schedule (with predicted result): at Montreal (L), vs. Toronto (W), vs. Minnesota (W), at Montreal (D), vs. New York Red Bulls (W), vs. D.C. United (W), at Philadelphia (W), at San Jose (L), vs. NYCFC (W), vs. Philadelphia (W), at Houston (L).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: vs. NYCFC, Sept. 30. If Chicago wins, and my predicted results for Atlanta United hold true, this game could be the one that opens the door for Atlanta United to move into third place.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 100-102.

Predicting number of points they will win: 22.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Second, with 63 points.

 

New York Red Bulls

Record: 12-9-2.

Points: 38.

Games remaining: 11.

Schedule (with predicted result): at Portland (L), vs. NYCFC (W), at Dallas (L), at Chicago (L), vs. Philadelphia (W), at Columbus (L), vs. D.C. United (W), at Toronto (D), vs. Vancouver (W), vs. Atlanta United (W), at D.C. United (W).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: vs. Atlanta United, Oct. 15. Duh.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 104-99-56.

Predicting number of points they will win: 19.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Fifth, with 57 points.

 

Columbus Crew

Record: 11-12-2.

Points: 35.

Games remaining: 9.

Schedule (with predicted result): at Orlando (D), vs. L.A. Galaxy (W), vs. Dallas (D), vs. Sporting KC (D), at Vancouver (L), vs. New York Red Bulls (W), vs. D.C. United (W), at Orlando (W), at NYCFC (L).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: at Orlando, Aug. 19. Earning even a point on the road will likely make Orlando City’s goal of reaching the playoffs impossible.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 79-82-49.

Predicting number of points they will win: 15.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Sixth, with 50. points.

 

Atlanta United

Record: 10-7-5.

Points: 35.

Games remaining: 12.

Schedule (with predicted result): at D.C. United (W), at Philadelphia (L), vs. Dallas (W), vs. New England (W), vs. Orlando (W), vs. L.A. Galaxy (W), vs. Montreal (L), vs. Philadelphia (W), at New England (D), vs. Minnesota (W), at New York Red Bulls (L), vs. Toronto (W).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: vs. Toronto, Oct. 22. A win and Atlanta United can move into third place in the Eastern Conference.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 99-117-57.

Predicting number of points they will win: 25.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Third, with 60 points.

 

Montreal

Record: 8-8-6.

Points: 30.

Games remaining: 12.

Schedule (with predicted result): vs. Chicago (W), vs. Real Salt Lake (W), vs. Toronto (D), vs. Chicago (D), at New England (L), vs. Minnesota (W), at Toronto (L), at Atlanta United (W), vs. NYCFC (D), at Colorado (L), at Toronto (L), vs. New England (W).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: at Atlanta United, Sept. 24. Montreal can keep its hopes alive with a win in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 122-92-66.

Predicting number of points they will win: 18.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Seventh, with 48 points.

 

Orlando City

Record: 8-10-6.

Points: 30.

Games remaining: 10.

Schedule (with predicted result): vs. Columbus (D), vs. Vancouver (W), at New England (L), at D.C. United (W), at Atlanta United (L), at Portland (L), vs. New England (W), vs. Dallas (D), vs. Columbus (L), at Philadelphia (D).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: vs. Columbus, Aug. 19. The team must get three points or it could fall eight points behind and Columbus, and remain five behind Atlanta United, which will have three games in hand.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 88-100-47.

Predicting number of points they will win: 12.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Eighth, with 42 points.

 

Philadelphia

Record: 8-11-5

Points: 29

Games remaining: 10.

Schedule (with predicted result): at San Jose (L), at Toronto (L), vs. Atlanta United (W), at Minnesota (W), at New York Red Bulls (L), vs. Chicago (L), at Atlanta United (L), vs. Seattle (D), at Chicago (L), vs. Orlando (D).

Pivotal game for Atlanta United: vs. Atlanta United, Aug. 26. Philadelphia’s schedule is brutal. It must win its home games against the playoff contenders.

Win-loss record of remaining opponents: 102-78-52.

Predicting number of points they will win: 8.

Predicting final place in Eastern Conference: Ninth, with 37 points.

Atlanta United should benefit from having the easiest schedule of the contending teams as well as three games in hand on Columbus, two games in hand on Toronto and NYCFC,  and a game on Chicago and New York Red Bulls. As you read, I think Montreal, a team I like, and Philadelphia are going to suffer because they have the toughest schedules. Orlando may be able to turn things around, but based upon their current form (2-9-6 in last 17) it’s hard to see that happening.

You may be upset that I think Atlanta United may fall at Philadelphia, and at home to Montreal. You can’t win them all. Teams that use similar tactics as Philadelphia have given Atlanta United trouble all season. As for Montreal, I think that’s a very tough matchup for Atlanta United and you can’t win all of the home games.

Here are final standings, based upon points:

Toronto, 64.

Chicago, 63.

Atlanta United, 60.

NYCFC, 58.

New York Red Bulls, 57.

Columbus, 50.


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