Atlanta United kept alive its chances of finishing in first in the MLS Eastern Conference with Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.
With each team having three games remaining, Atlanta United (51) trails first-place NYCFC (57) with six points and second-place Philadelphia (52) by one point.
“We aren’t looking at them,” Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. “We have to pick up max points. Whatever happens with them happens with them. We have to worry about ourselves and make sure we are in a good moment going into the playoffs.”
Atlanta United can continue to apply pressure with a positive result on Saturday. It will host San Jose, which is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 44 points.
“It’s always one game at at time,” Atlanta United manager Frank de Boer said. “If we turn around we have another game in front of us; it’s unbelievable how fast it goes.”
NYCFC and Philadelphia won’t play until Sunday. NYCFC will play at Dallas, which is 9-1-5 at home this season, and the Union will play at New York Red Bulls, which are 8-5-2 at home and are coming off a 2-0 win at Portland on Wednesday.
To clinch at least one home game in the playoffs, Atlanta United must either win one of its remaining games, or for Toronto to lose at least one.
“Of course we want three points because I think we have a good chance to be No. 1,” de Boer said. “If we win the last four games, I’m quite positive that we are on top.”
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