Atlanta United is back in the playoffs, and while the club is pretty familiar with going to the postseason, this year will look a little different. MLS announced in February the new format for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs that features Wild Card matches and a Round One Best-of-3 series.
With a brand-new format, we wanted to break things down. Here’s what to expect this postseason:
When do the playoffs start for Atlanta United?
Round One will run from Oct. 28- Nov. 12. The dates for Atlanta’s matches in the Round One Best-of-3 Series are listed below:
- Game 1: Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. (in Columbus)
- TV: FS1 & MLS Season Pass on Apple TV - Radio: Star 94
- Game 2: Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV - Radio: 92.9 The Game
- Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. (in Columbus)
- TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV - Radio: Star 94
What’s the format for Round One?
Round One is a Best-of-3 series, meaning the first team to earn two wins within three matches will advance. The matches will be hosted in a home-away-home format, so both teams will host at least one match. The higher seed will host the first match, the lower seed will host the second match and the higher seed will host the third match if necessary.
Atlanta finished the regular season in sixth place, so it will be the lower seed in Round One. Eight teams in both conferences will compete in Round One based on seedings:
- No. 1 vs. the winner of the Wild Card match
- No. 2 vs. No. 7
- No. 3 vs. No. 6
- No. 4. vs No. 5
So, will Atlanta United host a playoff match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
Yes! Atlanta will host one match, the second match of the series in Round One, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Who will Atlanta United face in Round One?
Atlanta United finished the regular season No. 6 in the conference, which means they will meet the 3-seed Columbus Crew in the Round One Best-of-3 series.
(Entering Decision Day, the likely possible opponents for the 5-Stripes in Round One included Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union or Columbus Crew.)
There’s a Wild Card match?
Yes, following Decision Day on Oct. 21, the first leg of the playoffs will be the Wild Card matches. The 8th and 9th seeds of each conference play each other to determine which club will advance to face the No. 1 seed in Round One. Atlanta will advance straight to Round One and will not play in a Wild Card match.
What else is different about this year?
That’s it! The four teams to come out of the Best-of-3 series in Round One will face off in single-elimination games. The conference semifinals and finals will be played Nov. 25-Dec. 3.
The MLS Cup presented by Audi will be on December 9.
Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs
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