Ezequiel Barco - shooting - against FC Cincinnati
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Extratime experts make their picks for Group E of the MLS is Back Tournament

Group E of the MLS is Back Tournament might be among the hardest groups to predict, given that it features three teams expected to contend in the Eastern Conference, and a second-year upstart looking to emerge as a dark horse.

Atlanta United still have a case to make as the favorites, even without Josef Martinez, given their roster that remains loaded with game-changing talent. The others in the group might have something to say about that, though. Columbus Crew SC were tabbed by many as preseason darlings. And while the New York Red Bulls are coming off a 2019 season that lagged behind their usual standards, they're proven as one of the East's most successful clubs in recent years. Even FC Cincinnati, poor as their expansion season may have been, have some intriguing new pieces and will be plenty motivated to show they've taken a step forward under new head coach Jaap Stam.

Think you know who will prevail in Group E and the rest of the tournament? Then make sure you submit your picks for the MLS is Back Bracket Challenge presented by Audi for a chance to win $10,000 or some MLS swag from the MLS store. The deadline to register is 8 pm ET on Wednesday, July 8.

Here's who our experts think will advance from Group E:

Charlie Davies

  1. Columbus
  2. Atlanta 
  3. NY Red Bulls (wild card)

Andrew Wiebe

  1. NY Red Bulls
  2. Atlanta
  3. FC Cincinnati (wild card)

Matthew Doyle

  1. Columbus 
  2. Cincinnati

Susannah Collins 

  1. Atlanta 
  2. Columbus

Jillian Sakovits

  1. Atlanta 
  2. Columbus
  3. NY Red Bulls (wild card)

David Gass

  1. Columbus
  2. NY Red Bulls
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