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MLS Playoffs: Breaking down the Eastern Conference outlook in 2019

We're approaching the homestretch of the 2019 MLS regular season, culminating in Decision Day presented by AT&T. With less than two months left in the season slate, let's take a look at the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs prospects among the Eastern Conference teams:

RELATED: Seedings and playoff brackets if the playoffs started today...

1. Atlanta United
45 PTS 14W - 9L - 3D +15 GD
Remaining Matches (8): Aug 23 at ORL; Aug 31 at PHI; Sept 14 vs. CLB; Sept 18 at CIN; Sept 21 vs. SJ; Sept 25 at NYC; Sept 29 at MTL; Oct 6 vs. NE
If the playoffs started today: Round 1 bye
At long last, Atlanta are atop the Eastern Conference. After a slow start to the season, ATL UTD are rounding into top form at the right time. They just lifted Campeones Cup and host the U.S. Open Cup final next week, too. They'll need to keep form up to get that first round bye, starting with a rivalry clash against Orlando City on Friday. 
2. Philadelphia Union
45 PTS 13W - 8L - 6D +8 GD
Remaining Matches (7): Aug 24 vs. DC; Aug 31 vs. ATL; Sept 14 vs. LAFC; Sept 22 at RBNY; Sept 25 at SJ; Sept 29 at CLB; Oct 6 vs. NYC
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
Philadelphia, long in first place in the East, have finally been displaced by Atlanta. It's been coming, as the Union have slipped in performance. Still, the club are well on pace for their best regular season in franchise history and are getting fit. Long season left for Philly. 
3. New York City FC
44 PTS 12W - 5L - 8D +14 GD
Remaining Matches (9): Aug 24 vs. RBNY; Aug 31 at VAN; Sept 7 vs. NE; Sept 11 vs. TOR; Sept 14 vs. SJ; Sept 22 at DAL; Sept 25 vs. ATL; Sept 29 at NE; Oct 6 at PHI
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
In the cramped sprint that is the top of the East, NYCFC hold the all-important games in hand. They picked up consecutive back-to-back wins heading into their huge Hudson River Derby this weekend. They are top of the East in points per game, too. 
4. New York Red Bulls
41 PTS 12W - 10L - 5D +6 GD
Remaining Matches (7): Aug 24 at NYC; Aug 31 vs. COL; Sept 15 at SEA; Sept 18 at POR; Sept 22 vs. PHI; Sept 29 vs. DC; Oct 6 at MTL
If the playoffs started today: Host Round 1 match
Quietly, the Red Bulls are hitting form in the Eastern Conference, now just four points back of first place. A win over NYCFC this weekend would put RBNY level with their rivals and within touching distance of the top of the East. They're in line to host a first round playoff game and will be disappointed if that's not the case come October. 
5. D.C. United
39 PTS 10W - 9L - 9D 0 GD
Remaining Matches (6): Aug 24 at PHI; Aug 31 at MTL; Sept 15 at POR; Sept 22 vs. SEA; Sept 29 at RBNY; Oct 6 vs. CIN
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
It's trying times in the nation's capital, as D.C. United continue to slip. Their latest loss saw Wayne Rooney ejected, thus facing a suspension, with Lucho Acosta rooted to the bench again. Embarking on a three-game road trip, plus holding the fewest games remaining in the East, D.C. might fall into a scrap just to make the playoffs.  
6. New England Revolution
35 PTS 9W - 9L - 8D -7 GD
Remaining Matches (8): Aug 24 vs. CHI; Aug 31 vs. TOR; Sept 7 at NYC; Sept 14 at ORL; Sept 21 vs. RSL; Sept 25 at POR; Sept 29 vs. NYC; Oct 6 at ATL
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
Hosting the Chicago Fire this weekend, the New England can push themselves even further from the playoff line with a win. A loss would pul them into the scrap while launching the Fire above them. At home with Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil in form, the Revs will be favored.
7. Montreal Impact
34 PTS 10W - 13L - 4D -11 GD
Remaining Matches (7): Aug 24 at TOR; Aug 28 vs. VAN; Aug 31 vs. DC; Sept 14 vs. CIN; Sept 21 at LA; Sept 29 vs. ATL; Oct 6 vs. RBNY
If the playoffs started today: Away Round 1 match
It was a brutal collapse for the Impact, squandering a 3-0 lead at home against FC Dallas to settle for a 3-3 draw. It ultimately cost Remi Garde his job, as Montreal parted ways with the Frenchman and hired Wilmer Cabrera. Can the former Dynamo boss right the ship?
8. Orlando City SC
34 PTS 9W - 11L - 7D 0 GD
Remaining Matches (7) Aug 23 vs. ATL; Aug 31 at SJ; Sept 7 vs. LAFC; Sept 14 vs. NE; Sept 21 at HOU; Sept 29 at CIN; Oct 6 vs. CHI
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
Orlando still have yet to beat rival Atlanta United, but wouldn't Friday night be the perfect time? The club have clawed into a tight race for the East's final playoff spots, with places six through nine separated by just a point. Help has arrived, too, as new Designated Player Mauricio Pereyra debuted against Minnesota.
9. Toronto FC
34 PTS 9W - 10L - 7D -2 GD
Remaining Matches (8): Aug 24 vs. MTL; Aug 31 at NE; Sept 7 at CIN; Sept 11 at NYC; Sept 15 vs. COL; Sept 21 at LAFC; Sept 29 at CHI; Oct 6 vs. CLB
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
What is going on with Toronto FC? Despite obvious talent, they find themselves below the playoff line. They're upcoming on a pair of crucial matches against Montreal -- who they are tied with for the East's final playoff place -- and New England -- who are just a point ahead of TFC.
10. Chicago Fire
33 PTS 8W - 11L - 9D +2 GD
Remaining Matches (6): Aug 24 at NE; Aug 31 at CLB; Sept 14 vs. DAL; Sept 21 at CIN; Sept 29 vs. TOR; Oct 6 at ORL
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
A big win against the Union kept the Fire's season alive last weekend. Five of their remaining six games are against Eastern Conference foes, including New England, Toronto and Orlando, meaning they hold their destiny.
11. Columbus Crew SC
27 PTS 7W - 15L - 6D -13 GD
Remaining Matches (6): Aug 25 at CIN; Aug 31 vs. CHI; Sept 14 at ATL; Sept 21 at VAN; Sept 29 vs. PHI; Oct 6 at TOR
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
Realistically long out of the playoff race, their season will get closer to finishing on a positive note if they could navigate a win against FC Cincinnati. The two teams drew their first Hell is Real derby, which was entirely exciting, and wrap up the season series this weekend. 
12. FC Cincinnati
18 PTS 5W - 18L - 3D -35 GD
Remaining Matches (8): Aug 25 vs. CLB; Aug 31 at DAL; Sept 7 vs. TOR; Sept 14 at MTL; Sept 18 vs. ATL; Sept 21 vs. CHI; Sept 29 vs. ORL; Oct 6 at DC
If the playoffs started today: Out of playoffs
Everything written up there about Columbus applies to Cincy. A win against their rivals would be a welcomed nugget to FCC fans that continue to show up in numbers in the club's first season in MLS. 

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