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How Atlanta United can advance in MLS is Back

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Time to put on our galaxy brains

Atlanta United FC v FC Cincinnati - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If you read the headline and clicked on this story, you know why you’re here... We understand. It’s desperate times.

Good news though: There is still a chance! (Besides the fact that it will take like three things for it to happen)

Let’s try to break down the routes for Atlanta United to reach the knockout rounds as easily as possible:

  1. Atlanta United has to beat Columbus Crew.
  2. New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati can’t end in a draw. It doesn’t matter how much one team wins by as long as it isn’t a draw. Let me repeat, no draw. Please don’t draw.
  3. Dependent upon how many goals by which Atlanta wins (since we must assume a win to consider such possibilities), ONE of the four scenarios would need to play out:

If Atlanta wins by one goal:

  1. Vancouver Whitecaps wins by 2 or less
  2. Montreal Impact wins by 1 + Atlanta wins tiebreaker* with Montreal
  3. Real Salt Lake wins by 2 + Minnesota United wins/draws OR RSL wins by 2 + Colorado wins by 1
  4. LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo ends in draw OR LA Galaxy wins by 3 or less

If Atlanta wins by two goals:

  1. Vancouver wins by 3 or less
  2. DC United vs. Montreal ends in Draw + Atlanta wins tiebreaker* with DC OR Montreal wins by 1
  3. RSL wins by 1 + Minnesota wins/draws OR RSL wins by 1 + Colorado Rapids win by 2 or less
  4. LA Galaxy vs Houston ends in draw OR LA Galaxy wins by 4 or less

If Atlanta wins by three goals:

  1. Vancouver wins by 4 or less
  2. DC vs. Montreal ends in Draw with DC OR Montreal wins by 2 or less
  3. RSL wins by 1 + Minnesota wins/draws OR RSL wins by 1 + Colorado wins by 3 or less
  4. LA Galaxy vs Houston ends in draw OR LA Galaxy wins by 5 or less

*In the situation that results in a tiebreaker it will go by this order: (1) points, (2) goal differential, (3) goals scored, (4) fewest disciplinary points

Tell us what you think will happen below!