The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United are locked in the Eastern Conference playoffs when the MLS series ends.
With two games left to play, the team is currently in the last two playoff spots, just a few points above the limit. Both sides can take a playoff spot on Wednesday night in Harrison, New Jersey if they play their cards right.
Here’s what you need to know about the midweek match with big playoff consequences …
Why Atlanta United must be bold in the New York Red Bulls to have a chance to run the MLS Cup
Atlanta United travels to the Red Bull Arena in its penultimate match of the regular season – a place they have fought for before.
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November 1, 2021
When is kick off? Wednesday, November 3, 7:30 PM (ET)
Where is the match played? Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
Which TV channel is it on? MSG +, Bally Sports South
What streaming is it on? MLS Live on ESPN +
New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber / Ira L. Black – Corbis / GettyImages
After securing a massive 1-0 victory over CF Montreal on Saturday, the Red Bulls are in 7th place on the Eastern Conference Table with 46 points, just two over DC United and the Columbus Crew and one behind Atlanta United. A win on Wednesday night would place RBNY in the playoffs for a 12th season in a row.
New York will be without head coach Gerhard Struber for the match, as he will be suspended due to yellow cards. The coach received his third yellow card of the season last Saturday for his colorful celebration of Fabio’s green light in stoppage time against CF Montreal. Struber’s two previous cards came from a dispute over refereeing.
Atlanta United fan favorite Josef Martinez to take part in Wednesday’s match / Steph Chambers / GettyImages
It has been over a month since Atlanta United’s latest loss, and with such a close playoff race as it is, the team wants to keep the streak. Atlanta United can still finish as high as third in the Eastern Conference depending on results, or can miss completely. With a win on Wednesday, the team can take a playoff bid.
Atlanta United will lead MLS in attendance for a fifth season in a row. The club has the ninth highest average audience in the world this season with 43,964 per game and a total of 747,386 fans.
NY Red Bulls: Coronel; Nealis, Reyes, Edwards, Tolkin, Yearwood; Davis, Duncan, Fabi; Casseres, Klimala
Atlanta United: Guzan; Robinson, Walkes, Franco, Lennon; Rossetto, Sosa, Bello; Martinez, Araujo, Barco
Since joining MLS 2017, Atlanta United has battled with the Red Bulls and owned a 1-7-3 record through the ages against the club. New York is 3-0-1 at the Red Bull Arena against Atlanta and a 0-0 draw in their only meeting this season at Mercedes Benz Stadium on June 27. Atlanta United have never defeated the Red Bulls in a regular season game.
While Atlanta United has been hot over the past month, the team’s fight against the Red Bulls is consistent in the club’s short history. The Red Bulls’ massive win on Saturday helped the team speed up the playoffs, and even without their coach, they should be in good shape. A win for either side would take a playoff spot, but if history is any indication, the Red Bulls should make it.
Prediction: New York Red Bulls 1-0 Atlanta United FC