Shield Chances: What we have learned in Septemeber

When September started, the Supporters’ Shield was up for grabs. As September comes to end, the Supporters’ Shield is is still up for grabs, but the field has trim down to four teams.  With a majority of the league either fighting for playoffs or getting seeding figured out, these four will fight it out over October for the Supporters’ Shield.

So lets start off with the Supporters’ Shield chances since that is still obtainable for Dallas.

Los Angeles Galaxy

Record: 14-9-8 (50 points)

Games remaining: 3

CONCACAF Champions League: Yes

The Galaxy are surviving in the shield race only because Dallas, Vancouver, and New York have not put them away. With three games remaining, the schedule is brutal as it is at Seattle, Portland, and at Sporting Kansas City. Before the Kansas City game, they have to travel down to Guatemala for a Champions League game. It is a slippery slope because while they do have a chance, it’s not a great chance. They pretty much have to win out and everybody has to be poor down the stretch. If the Galaxy tie or lose this weekend and the other teams win their games, the Galaxy’s chance of the shield are likely over. The Galaxy simply are running out of chances and the margin of error is razor thin.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Record: 15-12-3 (49 points)

Games remaining: 4

CONCACAF Champions League: Yes

Vancouver had a golden chance to be the odds on favorite to win the shield barring a major collapse. However, they blew that chance winning only two of their last five. Vancouver’s schedule is at San Jose, at Dallas, Dallas, and Houston. Before Houston they have to travel down to Honduras for Champions League. San Jose will be a tough out as they need a win just stay alive in playoffs. The shield chances though will likely be decided in that two game set with Dallas. Vancouver has never won a game in Texas and Vancouver is not the greatest home team. A loss at San Jose and then at Dallas and this team’s chances for the Shield are pretty much over if everybody else takes of business. Luckily for them, no team seems to want to do that in MLS.

FC Dallas

Record: 14-10-5 (47 points)

Games Remaining: 5

CONCACAF Champions League: No

The key number is games remaining. What Dallas does with them will decide their fate.  The schedule is not the easiest, but not real brutal with Houston, Vancouver, at Vancouver, at Real Salt Lake, and San Jose. Just like Vancouver, the two game set will decide their fate. If Dallas wins their next two at home which they very well could, get a draw at RSL and at Vancouver, then come home to beat San Jose, there is no reason they could end up with the Shield at worst the one seed in the west.

New York Red Bulls:

Record: 14-9-6 (48 points)

Games remaining: 5

CONCACAF Champions League: No

This is likely the only team from the East with a chance at the shield. Columbus and New England are simply running out of games and both of them sit at 47 points and each only have three games left. We will not have to wait long more than likely to see how good of a chance the Red Bulls have as their next three are against Columbus, Montreal, and at Toronto FC. They end the season with bottom dwellers Philadelphia and at Chicago. Columbus and Montreal will be tough outs as Columbus has the ability to look really good with golden boot leader Kei Kamara and Montreal is approaching white hot status as they have not lost in a month and have impressive draws at Los Angeles and at San Jose along with beating New England and D.C. United. The Red Bulls may have the nicest schedule down the stretch with all their difficult games at home, will they take care of business is the question. If Columbus and Montreal get a draw against them at home, they could see their chances slip away.

 

 

 

 

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