Columbus Crew SC will be trying to hold onto a top-four spot in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs when they take on an Atlanta United side trying to move above the playoff line in a Decision Day presented by AT&T clash at MAPFRE Stadium, where the Crew holds an 8-1-0 record this season.
The Black & Gold (11-6-5, 38 pts.) are fourth in the East, trying to stave off fifth-place NYCFC and bounce back from a midweek 2-1 defeat to Orlando City SC, which leapfrogged Columbus into third in the East. After losing just once in their first 13 games of the season to sit atop the Supporters' Shield race, the Crew enters Decision Day 2W-5L-2D in their last nine matches.
Atlanta (6-12-4, 22 pts.) are just below the playoff line in the East and are one of five teams vying for the final two playoff spots in the East. The Five Stripes stayed in the race with a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati in Week 22, a victory that snapped a six-match winless streak and eliminated FC Cincinnati from playoff contention.
HIGHLIGHTS | Crew tops Atlanta 1-0 back in July
Crew SC has won the last three league meetings, including a 2-0 victory at MAPFRE Stadium last March, after Atlanta United won each of the first four.
Columbus Crew SC
The Crew failed to capitalize on an emotional win over the Philadelphia Union last Sunday, with Orlando City SC claiming a similar victory at Exploria Stadium Wednesday night. The defeat, while especially disappointing considering the Lions were reduced to 10 men after Nani's 52nd-minute red card, makes things crystal clear for Caleb Porter's side on Decision Day.
"It’s the last game of the year, it’s at home, we have everything to play for," Porter said after the match. "We need to win the game to make sure we have a home game in the playoffs."
It's been a nightmare regular season for Atlanta United, but they're alive with a puncher's chance on Decision Day thanks to a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday. Adam Jahn and Marcelino Moreno struck in the opening 26 minutes for the Five Stripes, who don't control their own destiny, but can still impact their chance of reaching the playoffs at MAPFRE Stadium.
“We could've been better at times, of course we could, but I do feel like if we get in the playoffs we've got an opportunity to do something,” Atlanta interim coach Stephen Glass said. “... But a lot of people wrote us off, they've done it all year. I've got a group of players in there that have been working really, really hard and I'm hopeful it turns. If it turns at the right time and we get some little breaks, you just never know.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on SportsTime Ohio.