Decision Day 2020 is here for Major League Soccer! This afternoon at MAPFRE Stadium, the Columbus Crew and Atlanta United will meet in an unseasonable hot pitch in the sun to determine their fates for the MLS Cup playoffs. These two sides met back in Orlando at the MLS is Back Tournament where the Crew defeated Atlanta 1-0. A 19-pass team goal scored by Youness Mokhtar earned the Black & Gold the lone perfect record of the MLS is Back group stage.
This time around for the Crew, the stakes are high. Columbus is already going to the MLS Cup playoffs that begin in two weeks. The team is strictly playing for seeding today that could be an indicator of how far it can go in the postseason. A win or a draw puts the Crew in the likely position of getting the three or four seed, which means MAPFRE Stadium will host a playoff game. If Columbus loses and New York City FC defeats the Chicago Fire, Columbus will play NYCFC on the road after finishing the regular season with zero road victories.
This time around for United, the stakes are higher. The Georgian side has struggled this season and is on the outside looking in entering the final regular season game. The Five Stripes must defeat Columbus today to have any chance of making the playoffs. They also need help from D.C. United to not lose to the Montreal Impact or get help from NYCFC to not lose to Chicago. The chances are pretty good for Atlanta United with a win but the team does not control it own destiny.
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Defender Vito Wormgoor, Midfielder Fatai Alashe and Defender Hector Jimenez are OUT.
Atlanta: Forward Josef Martinez and Midfielder Mo Adams are OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus, Ohio
TV: SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports Southeast
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: ESPN+ App
Crew 3-Seed: WIN + ORLANDO LOSS
Crew 4-Seed: WIN/DRAW + ORLANDO WIN
Crew 5-Seed: LOSS + NYCFC WIN/DRAW
Clinch Playoffs: WIN + MONTREAL DOESN’T WIN
Clinch Playoffs: WIN + CHICAGO DOESN’T WIN
3. Orlando City (22 GP, 1.86 PPG, 41 pts)
4. Columbus Crew (22 GP, 1.73 PPG, 38 pts)
5. New York City FC (22 GP, 1.64 PPG, 36 pts)
9. Montreal Impact (22 GP, 1.05 PPG, 23 pts)
10. Chicago Fire (22 GP, 1.05 PPG, 23 pts)
11. Atlanta United (22 GP, 1 PPG, 22 pts)
Around the league:
Decision Day is the best time of year for MLS fans with every team in the league playing for final positions. 3:30pm EST will be kickoff for all seven of the Eastern conference matchups with everything at stake. Two playoff spots are up for grabs, seeding for the entire conference and the fight for the Supporters’ Shield between the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC.
At 6:30pm EST, the Western conference will conclude its season with six simultaneous matches. The eight playoff spots have been determined but seeding and the number-one seed will be the fight for today. Sporting Kansas City, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders are playing for the one-seed with SKC having the edge right now.
Playoff Picture (As of SAT 11/7):
(x = Clinched)
1 (x) Philadelphia Union vs. 8 (x) Nashville / 9 Montreal / 10 Chicago
2 (x) Toronto FC vs. 7 (x) Red Bulls / 8 (x) Nashville / 9 Montreal
4 (x) Columbus Crew vs. 5 (x) New York City FC
IN THE HUNT
3 (x) Seattle Sounders vs. 6 (x) Los Angeles FC
Last five matches:
July 21, 2020 (MLS is Back): Columbus Crew 1, Atlanta United 0 (ESPN Complex)
September 14, 2019: Atlanta United 1, Columbus Crew 3 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
June 18, 2019 (US Open Cup): Columbus Crew 2, Atlanta United 3 (MAPFRE Stadium)
March 30, 2019: Columbus Crew 2, Atlanta United 0 (MAPFRE Stadium)
August 19, 2018: Atlanta United 3, Columbus Crew 1 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)