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Race for the Fifth 2019 CCL Spot: Atlanta United regain top spot with the Hudson River Derby approaching

A big week ahead.

MLS: Columbus Crew at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With just a little over two months of the MLS season left to play, it’s time to start paying attention to the standings. While the race for the Supporters’ Shield and playoff position in the East is important, perhaps the most important race is for the fifth spot in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League. This spot will be awarded to the top American club in MLS with the most combined points over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The spot was originally due to go to the winner of the 2017 MLS Cup, but Toronto FC are only allowed to qualify for this tournament through the Canadian Championship and have clinched that spot.

Spot 1: Sporting Kansas City (2017 U.S. Open Cup winner)

Spot 2: Toronto FC (2018 Canadian Champions)

Spot 3: 2018 U.S. Open Cup winner (Houston Dynamo or Philadelphia Union)

Spot 4: 2018 MLS Cup Champions (Non-Canadian)

Spot 5: Team with best aggregate record over the 2017 and 2018 MLS regular seasons (Non-Canadian)

Atlanta United are back in front after beating the Columbus Crew, 3-1. Couple that with NYCFC losing to the Philadelphia Union and the Five Stripes are back in the driver’s seat for the CCL spot.

The Red Bulls also dropped points and now sit eight points behind Atlanta.

Race for the fifth CCL spot: Update #1

Team Points Matches Remaining
Team Points Matches Remaining
Atlanta United 106 9
NYCFC 104 9
Red Bulls 98 10
Columbus Crew 93 9
FC Dallas 91 10
Portland Timbers 90 11
Seattle Sounders 88 10

This week should give us a clearer picture of the race with the pivotal Hudson River Derby taking place tonight between New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls. The result of that match will play a big role in both the CCL spot and Supporters’ Shield standings.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Atlanta United visit Orlando City while the Red Bulls host D.C. United. NYCFC are off this weekend.