Atlanta United will begin its MLS Cup defense Saturday when it hosts New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the first round of the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. The match, presented by SunTrust and Georgia Power, is set to kick-off at 1 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on Univision and regionally televised on FOX Sports Southeast.
Atlanta enters the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference for the second consecutive year and hosts No. 7 seed New England in the first round. Atlanta finished the regular season with 58 points, which is the most by a defending champion since 2000 (non-shootout era), surpassing Real Salt Lake’s 56-point tally from 2010.
This will be the seventh meeting all-time between the two sides and the first in MLS Cup Playoffs. Atlanta owns a 4-0-2 record against New England, including a 3-0-0 record at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and a pair of wins against the Revolution this season. Atlanta posted the second-best home winning percentage during the 2019 regular season at .794 and a 12-2-3 record, trailing only LAFC.
In the first meeting in 2019 at Gillette Stadium in April, Ezequiel Barco scored twice to lead Atlanta to a 2-0 victory and its first away win of the season. Atlanta won the second meeting 3-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Oct. 6 as Darlington Nagbe, Josef Martinez and Julian Gressel tallied goals in Atlanta’s regular-season finale. Martinez leads Atlanta with five goals against the Revolution.
Despite a 3-8-4 start to the season, New England went 8-3-8 after manager Bruce Arena took over and lead the club to its first playoff appearance since 2015. Arena, who will make his 50th postseason coaching appearance Saturday, is the winningest head coach in MLS Cup Playoffs history and boasts five MLS Cup titles. Midfielder Carles Gil was named MLS Newcomer of the Year and is one of only four players to reach double-digit goals and assists this season. New England is 3-6-8 on the road in 2019.
Saturday, Oct. 19 | Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA |1 p.m. (ET)
Atlanta United (18-12-4, 58 points) vs. New England Revolution (11-11-12, 45 points)
TV | Univision, FOX Sports Southeast
Spanish Radio | La Mejor 1600 AM
English Radio | Star 94.1 FM
12 p.m.: AT&T Countdown to Kickoff (FB Live/Periscope)
12:30 p.m.: The Pre-Game show (92-9 The Game)