The top two teams in the Eastern Conference will collide Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium when Atlanta United will face the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Both teams are currently tied with 48 points but Atlanta has the edge on the tiebreaker because they have won one more game than the Union. It’s also important to remember the Five Stripes have one game in hand over Philadelphia.
With only seven matches remaining in the regular season and with New York City FC sitting in third place with two matches in hand, Atlanta will look to end the month of August with a perfect record before heading into the two-week international break. Here’s a preview for each team:
Record: 15-9-3, 48 points, 1st Eastern Conference
The month of August has been great for the Five Stripes, as they are currently undefeated and have claimed two trophies, Campeones Cup and the U.S. Open Cup., and will look to end the month on a good note. Atlanta has won its last two road matches, with both times posting a shutout.
Overall, Atlanta has three wins and two ties against the Union, including a 1-1 tie at Mercedes-Benz Stadium back in March.
The Five Stripes will look to goalscorer Josef Martinez, who is on a 12-game scoring streak, to lead the team to victory and claim another three points on the road.
A victory for Atlanta and a tie or loss by Orlando against San Jose Earthquakes would secure a playoff spot for the Five Stripes.
After this match, Atlanta will enjoy a two-week break due to the international window, which would give some players a much needed break.
Record: 14-8-6, 48 points, 1st Eastern Conference
Against a talented Atlanta United team, the Union, who are calling this game their most important game in their regular-season history, will hope that their home fans and home record will create a tough atmosphere for the Five Stripes, and therefore come away with a positive result. Philadelphia has the fourth best home record this season with nine wins, two losses and three draws and are only three points away from surpassing their total amount of points from last season.
The Union will be without playmaker Alejandro Bedoya due to yellow card accumulation, which means that the team will look to top goalscorer Kacper Przybylko and Marco Fabian, who have 12 and six goals respectively, to help the team in the final third of the field.
Just like Atlanta, Philadelphia can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win and an Orlando tie or loss against San Jose Earthquakes.