2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs

Series Preview: Atlanta United hosts Columbus Crew in Game 2 of Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 Series


Atlanta United continues play in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The 5-Stripes face the 3-seed in the conference Columbus Crew in the Round One Best-of-3 series.

Here are a few things to know about the series as we head into Game 2:

First Touches

  • Tuesday marks the second match of the Best-of-3 series. Columbus won the first match 2-0. The first team to win two matches will advance to the single-elimination conference semifinals.
  • As the higher seed, Columbus Crew will have home field advantage for the series. They hosted Game 1 and, if necessary, will host Game 3. Atlanta United will host Game 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 7. Click here to view tickets
  • Atlanta United will wear the 404 kit for Game 2. | Learn the story of the kit
  • Game 2 will be a Black Out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Wear black to support the 5-Stripes at home.

Schedule for Round One Best-of-3 series between No. 6 Atlanta United vs. No. 3 Columbus Crew:

  • Game 1: Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Lower.com Field (FS1, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, Star 94)
  • Game 2: Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 92.9 The Game)
  • Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Lower.com Field (MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, Star 94)
It's a 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊𝐎𝐔𝐓 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium 🏟

It's a 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊𝐎𝐔𝐓 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium 🏟

Bring the energy and wear black on Tuesday to help the 5-Stripes blackout the stands. It’s a must-win match!

About the Best-of 3 Series

The Best-of-3 series is new this year for MLS. Here are a few rules to consider heading into it, per MLSSoccer.com:

  • Win-only: Every Round One game will have a winner. There are no ties, no aggregate score.
  • PK shootout: If a Round One game is tied at the end of regulation time (90 minutes), no extra time will be played. There will immediately be a penalty kick shootout to determine the winner.
  • Best-of-3: The first team to win two matches will advance.

Related Content

Columbus Crew takes Game 1 at Lower.com Field

The No. 3 seed Columbus Crew took the 1-0 series lead in the first match of the Best-of-3 series last week at Lower.com Field. Despite Columbus and Atlanta being the two highest-scoring teams in MLS during the regular season, both sides opened the match more defensively with few shots in the first half. Columbus opened the scoring right before half time with a goal from Cucho Hernández. The Colombian striker earned a brace on the night after he converted a penalty in the 51st minute. Atlanta, who was without their MVP-candidate Thiago Almada due to a red card suspension, struggled offensively and finished the night with only one shot.

Back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The 5-Stripes will fight to keep their playoff hopes alive when the series moves down to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Tuesday. Atlanta went 10-3-4 at home during the regular season and scored twice as many goals as it conceded at home (42-21). The last time Atlanta played at the Benz, it was against Columbus in the penultimate match of the season. The Crew scored the opening goal, but Atlanta fought back till the very end to earn a draw in the dying moments of the match behind a header from defender Miles Robinson.

Players to Watch

Thiago Almada (Atlanta United): The Argentine's presence was definitely missed in the midfield during Game 1 of this series. Almada was a huge part of Atlanta's attack during the regular season, contributing to 30 goals for the 5-Stripes (11g/19a), which earned him the MLS Young Player of the Year Award. With the return of Almada, along with being back at home, Atlanta will have even more momentum as they fight to even the series 1-1.

Cucho Hernández (Columbus Crew): Game 1 was a prime example of how lethal Cucho Hernández has been all season for the Crew. The striker finished the night with two goals, six shots and he won six of his nine duels. Hernández was the lone goal scorer the last time Columbus came to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so he will likely be the biggest threat to Atlanta's defense on Tuesday.

Season Stats
Columbus Crew
Atlanta United
Shots on Goal
Passing Accuracy 
Fouls Committed
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