Thursday, November 30, 2023

MLS Preview: Columbus Crew SC (16-9-9) at Atlanta United FC (13-9-12)

Columbus Crew SC leads Best of 3 Series 1-0

The Columbus Crew SC are unbeaten in four straight visits to Atlanta United FC (W3 D1), including earning a 1-1 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 7. The Columbus Crew SC is the second team in MLS to go unbeaten in four straight away MLS matches at Atlanta United FC, (including playoffs) after the New York Red Bulls from 2019-22.

Atlanta United Fc s winless in four straight matches following the 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday, equaling the longest winless run in all competitions since Gonzalo Pineda took charge in late August 2021. The Atlanta United FC Five Stripes last had a longer winless run in May-August 2021 (12 straight).

The Columbus Crew SC has not won any of its last 15 road matches in the MLS Cup Playoffs (D5 L10), last recording an away postseason win at the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2022 quarterfinals. The Columbus Crew SC have managed a total of 7 goals in those 15 matches, failing to find the net in 10 of them.

Atlanta United FC’s 2-0 loss at the Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday came after being shut out only twice during the entire regular season, tied with the Columbus Crew SC for fewest in MLS this year. Atlanta United FC has not been shut out in any of its 19 home matches in all competitions in 2023.

Cucho Hernandez scored both of Columbus Crew SC’s goals in their win on Wednesday, taking his total to 18 on the year (regular season and playoffs), the most by a Columbus Crew SC player since Gyasi Zardes in 2018 (20). Hernandez has scored 12 of the Columbus Crew SC’s last 17 goals dating back to the beginning of September (excluding own goals).

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