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Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs: How the Round One matchups shape up

The bracket is set for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Though the Round One matches are just under two weeks away, it's never too early for a preview, especially with a brand-new format debuting this year.

Gone are the two-legged affairs that have been a staple of all playoffs in recent memory. This year, it's only one game per round — win and move on, lose or go home. That being said, the MLS playoffs have also featured single-elimination games in previous formats, from which we can glean a little information about just how much home-field advantage matters in this new format.

Since 2011, when MLS first introduced knockout matches to kick off the postseason, the home team has advanced in 16 of the 24 games, a 66.67 percent -- or two-thirds -- rate of success for the higher-seeded hosts.

This season, it's all knockout games straight up to (and including) MLS Cup. Here's how Round One shakes out:

Eastern Conference

Atlanta United (No. 2) vs. New England Revolution (No. 7)

Atlanta at home in 2019: 12W-2L-3D

New England on the road in 2019: 3W-6L-8D

Season matchup: These two teams clashed at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Decision Day and they'll do it again in Round One. Atlanta saw past the Revs 3-1 behind Josef Martinez & Co., while the reverse fixture ended 2-0 to ATLUTD at Gillette Stadium in April.

Philadelphia Union (No. 3) vs. New York Red Bulls (No. 6)

Philadelphia at home in 2019: 10W-3L-4D

RBNY on the road in 2019: 5W-9L-3D

Season matchup: At Talen Energy Stadium, the Union came back to beat the Red Bulls 3-2 in a memorable match on June 8, while the Red Bulls won their home match against the Union 2-0 on September 22.

Toronto FC (No. 4) vs. D.C. United (No. 5)

Toronto at home in 2019: 9W-4L-4D

D.C. on the road in 2019: 6W-6L-5D

Season matchup: Both matches between Toronto and D.C. ended in draws this year, 0-0 north of the border and 1-1 in the US capital. TFC clinched the home game on the goal differential tiebreaker, as both sides were level on points and wins. 

Western Conference

Seattle Sounders (No. 2) vs. FC Dallas (No. 7)

Seattle at home in 2019: 11W-2L-4D

Dallas on the road in 2019: 3W-11L-3D

Season matchup: Less than a month ago, Dallas went to Seattle and earned a 0-0 draw. In June, FCD beat the Sounders 2-1 at Toyota Stadium. 

Real Salt Lake (No. 3) vs. Portland Timbers (No. 6)

RSL at home in 2019: 12W-4L-1D

Portland on the road in 2019: 6W-8L-3D

Season matchup: Portland swept RSL in both regular season matches, winning 2-1 on the road in May then 1-0 at home at the end of August. 

Minnesota United (No. 4) vs. LA Galaxy (No. 5)

Minnesota at home in 2019: 10W-1L-6D

Galaxy on the road in 2019: 5W-10L-2D

Season matchup: Thanks to the Galaxy's loss to Houston on Decision Day, Minnesota United will host a Round One playoff match at Allianz Field, where they have lost just once this year in regular season play. Minnesota and LA tied 0-0 at Allianz Field in April, but the Galaxy beat MNUFC in SoCal all the way back in March.


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