Atlanta United still believes it will make MLS playoffs

Credit: Ben Jackson/Atlanta United

Credit: Ben Jackson/Atlanta United

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Atlanta United made up no ground in pursuit of an MLS playoff spot following Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Columbus.

ExploreLooking back at the draw against Columbus

The team started the day five points behind Orlando for the seventh and final playoff spot. Despite playing one of its best games, it finished its 26th game five points behind Columbus. Five teams are between Atlanta United and the Crew. Those teams are separated by four points.

“I think if we continue to play this way, no doubt in my head we’re gonna be successful at the end of the regular season,” manager Gonzalo Pineda said. “We’re going to make (the) playoffs, and that’s my belief. Otherwise, we quit and we don’t play the next eight games.”

It won’t be easy.

Atlanta United has two games remaining against New England and Toronto, two of the teams in the pack below the line, as well as two games against Philadelphia, one against Orlando and one against NYCFC, which are above the line.

ExploreMore AJC coverage of Atlanta United

The team has yet to win two consecutive games, and it must put together some sort of winning streak if it hopes to pass the teams it is chasing.

“Obviously, it’s difficult because as we play, with each game that passes, there’s less games and less chance to make the points,” midfielder Santiago Sosa said. “We’re remaining with our faith intact. Even though (Sunday night) was an opportunity, we let three points potentially slip away.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3

April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0

April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0

April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1

April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1

May 15 Atlanta United 2, New England 2

May 21 Atlanta United 2, Nashville 2

May 28 Columbus 2, Atlanta United 1

June 19 Atlanta United 2, Miami 0

June 25 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 1

June 30 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

July 3 Atlanta United 2, NYCFC 2

July 9 Austin 3, Atlanta United 0

July 13 Atlanta United 2, Real Salt Lake 1

July 17 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

July 24 L.A. Galaxy 2, Atlanta United 0

July 30 Atlanta United 0, Chicago 0

Aug. 6 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 1

Aug. 13 Atlanta United 2, Cincinnati 2

Aug. 17 New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 1

Aug. 21 Atlanta United 2, Columbus 2

Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas