Atlanta United FC Seeking First Win Vs. Red Bulls In East Finals Leg 1

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 2:54 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018 2:54 PM UTC

Despite the record-setting MLS season, Atlanta United FC have never beaten the New York Red Bulls, but expect that to change Sunday in Leg 1 of their Eastern Conference Final series in Atlanta.

New York Red Bulls (23-5-8) at Atlanta United FC (23-6-7)Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sunday, 5 pm EST (ESPN)Free MLS Pick: Atlanta United MLBest Lines Offered: Pinnacle

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Atlanta United has come way too far to blow it now, at least in terms of winning the Eastern Conference, and with a huge edge at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the best dynamic duo in the ML in Miguel Almirón (13 goals, 14 assists) and Golden Boot winner Josef Martínez (33 goals, 10 GWG), finding a way to win this opening leg and outscore the New York Red Bulls to get to the MLS Cup Final seems quite doable, unless Bradley Wright-Phillips (20 goals) can somehow score the first goal and then play lockdown defense on the Road and steal this match.

  • ATLANTA UNITED has never beaten RBNY (0-1-3 , 2 GF-7 GA)
  • ATLANTA UNITED 12-4-2 at Home (W-D-L)
  • ATLANTA UNITED notched first two Postseason wins ever vs NYCFC in Semis
  • EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS LEG 2 in Harrison, NJ on Thursday, Nov. 29 (FS1, 7:30 pm ET)

Looking at all four meeting between these two (RBNY 2-0 ATL, ATL 1-3 RBNY, RBNY 0-0 ATL, ATL 1-2 RBNY), we see that the Five Stripes have yet to defeat Daniel Royer (13 goals) and the Red Bulls, so ageless GK Brad Guzan and Atlanta will have to try to finally get that monkey off its back.

And expect the hosts to be able to do so in a packed environment with so much energy and positivity after the wonderful Regular Season the club had along with (hopefully) that driving and significant first goal, meaning the attackers will then be able to play much looser in Leg 1 and maybe get another goal or two (2½o -152, Intertops).

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Atlanta United FC 2 New York Red Bulls 1

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It's officially Western Conference Final Leg 1 week 😤#PORvSKC // #ClaimTheCup pic.twitter.com/mM5H53t6Oe

— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) 19 de novembro de 2018
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Sporting Kansas City (19-9-8) at Portland Timbers (17-9-11)Providence Park, Sunday, 7:30 pm EST (FS1)Free MLS Pick: Under

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Western Division and Supporters’ Shield winners Sporting Kansas City (DWWWDW) head 2 Time Zones and 1,795 miles west to the Rose City to face the Timbers (WWLWWL) in a huge fixture for both and a match from the Beaver State., Bigfootville and the lair of Timber Joey in a huge meeting which could very well end up in a Draw (+248, 5Dimes).

A look at the L5 meetings in this Western Conference series (SKC 3-0 POR, POR 0-0 SKC, SKC 1-1 POR, POR 0-1 SKC, POR 3-0 SKC) reveals Dániel Sallói (13 goals) and SKC to be an unbeaten 2-2-1 against the Diego Valeri (13 goals), Sebastián Blanco (13 goals) and the upstart Timbers with 3 Draws (all Unders) and the Home team 2-2-1 as well with Clean Sheets for the winners in 4 of the 5 meetings. La-ti-da.

  • SKC is 4-3-2 lifetime on Road at PORT in MLS (7 GF-7 GA)
  • SKC 3-2-1 L6 vs PORT (6 GF-4 GA)
  • PORT hasn’t scored on SKC in 244+ minutes in MLS play
  • WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS LEG 2 in Kansas City on Thursday, Nov. 29 (ESPN, 9:30 pm ET)

Johnny Russell (10 goals), Diego Rubio (10 goals), team heartbeat Graham Zusi and SKC can win this one, but maybe more important to them is a precious Road goal in a match where scoring could be scarce and that first goal could take some time to be scored despite all of the double-digit scoring talent on the pitch. And the series Trends support this reality with the Timbers having gone over two-and-a-half matches since scoring on GK Tim Melia and the kickers once known as the Wizards. This series has the potential to be a classic with the Timbers having so much Momentum and Leg 1 at Home while SKC has the better overall Roster and stronger championship expectations.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Portland Timbers 1 Sporting Kansas City 1

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