Plenty to play for on Decision Day for Atlanta United

Atlanta United will have a lot to play for on Decision Day against Cincinnati on Saturday.

Playoff seeding and opponent and individual awards are among the things that will be determined.

Nine teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs.

The Nos. 8 and 9 seeds will face off in a one-off match on Oct. 25 or 26. The winner will play the No. 1 seed. The No. 2 seed will play the No. 7 seed in a best-of-three with the higher seed hosting the first and, if necessary, third game. The matches are scheduled to be played the weekends from Oct. 28-Nov. 12. The next round is one match, hosted by the higher seed. The matches are scheduled to be played the weekends of Nov. 25. The next round is one match, hosted by the higher seed. The matches are scheduled to be played Dec. 3. The MLS Cup is one match, hosted by the higher seed. It is scheduled to be played Dec. 9.

Atlanta United is in sixth place with 50 points.

The Five Stripes can finish as high as fifth or as low as seventh. That determination will be finalized on Decision Day and will depend upon other results.

Here’s a look at the possibilities:

Atlanta United will finish in fifth if:

It defeats Cincinnati and New England doesn’t defeat Philadelphia.

Atlanta United will finish in sixth if:

It defeats Cincinnati and New England defeats Philadelphia;

Or

It draws Cincinnati and Nashville doesn’t defeat Red Bulls.

Or

It loses to Cincinnati and Nashville draws or loses to Red Bulls.

Atlanta United will finish in seventh if:

It doesn’t defeat Cincinnati and Nashville defeats Red Bulls.

Atlanta United’s possible playoff opponent is also a bit murky. Again, the Five Stripes will play either the second, third or fourth seed because it will finish as either the fifth, sixth or seventh seed.

Here are the possibilities, without scenarios:

Second seed: Orlando. The Lions are locked into second. Atlanta United is 0-1-1 against Orlando.

Third seed: Philadelphia or Columbus. New England could match on points and the first-tiebreaker, number of wins, but the Union would have the second tie-breaker, goal-difference.

Atlanta United is 1-1-0 against Philadelphia and 0-1-1 against Columbus.

Fourth seed: Philadelphia, Columbus or New England.

Atlanta United is 1-1-0 against Philadelphia, 0-1-1 against Columbus and 0-1-1 against New England.

As for individual awards, Giorgos Giakoumakis would need to score four goals, and hope LAFC’s Denis Bouanga doesn’t find the net, to match him for the Golden Boot.

Thiago Almada has 17 assists and is two ahead of Houston’s Hector Herrera in the race to finish with the most assists.

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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1

March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0

March 18 Atlanta United 5, Portland 1

March 25 Columbus 6, Atlanta United 1

April 1 Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 0

April 8 Atlanta United 1, New York City FC 1

April 15 Atlanta United 2, Toronto FC 2

April 23 Atlanta United 2, Chicago 1

April 29 Nashville SC 3, Atlanta United 1

May 6 Inter Miami CF 2, Atlanta United 1

May 13 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 1

May 17 Atlanta United 4, Colorado 0

May 20 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 3

May 27 Atlanta United 1, Orlando 1

May 31 Atlanta United 3, New England 3

June 7 Atlanta United 0, LAFC 0

June 10 Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 1

June 21 Atlanta United 2, New York City 2

June 24 New York Red Bulls 4, Atlanta United 0

July 2 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 0

July 8 Atlanta United 1, Montreal 0

July 12 New England 2, Atlanta United 1

July 15 Orlando City 2, Atlanta United 1

July 25 Miami 4, Atlanta United 0 in Leagues Cup

July 29 Cruz Azul 1 (5), Atlanta United (4) 1 in Leagues Cup

Aug. 20 Atlanta United 2, Seattle 0

Aug. 26 Atlanta United 4, Nashville 0

Aug. 30 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

Sept. 2 Atlanta United 2, FC Dallas 2

Sept. 16 Atlanta United 5, Inter Miami 2

Sept. 20 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 1

Sept. 23 Atlanta United 4, Montreal 1

Oct. 4 Philadelphia 3, Atlanta United 2

Oct. 7 Atlanta United 1, Columbus 1

Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, 6 p.m.

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