MLS Decision Day: Will Philly clinch Supporters’ Shield? Breaking down what to watch for

who will win mls’s 2020 supporters’ shield? (1:06)

with philadelphia ∪ and toronto fc vying for mls’s supporters’ shield, ale +no provides who he thinks are favorites. (1:06)

mls decision dy is upon us. for the league, simply gettin to this point is an achievement amid the covid-19 pandemic, though we’ll see how the mls cup joust themselves fare.

– mls joust: who’s in, who’s out and all key info
– mls regular season: updated points-per-game table
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thris a trophy onna line swell as postseason spots and seeding to be determined inna generously expanded joust that ‘ve 10 qualifiers from the eastern conference and 8 inna west.

here’s how things are shaking out heading inna'da weekend.

two teams set their sites on shield

wed’s results, which included the columbus crew sc‘s 2-1 defeat to 10-man orlando city sc swell as the portland timbers‘ 1-0 loss to the colorado rapids, means'dat 1-ly the philadelphia ∪ and toronto fc remain in contention for the supporters’ shield. (orlando ‘d catch both on points but ‘d lose out onna wins-per-game tiebreaker.)

the ∪ had a chance to lock up the trophy last week but fell onna road 2-1 to the crew, while tfc did its bit by beating inter miami cf, 2-1. still, philadelphia remains in control of its shield destiny. all philadelphia needo do is match or better toronto’s result n''twill claim the 1st trophy in its history.

both teams ‘ve tricky tasks ahead o'em. the ∪ will host the new england revolution at home, while toronto will travel to harrison, new jersey, to take onna new york red bulls. of the two, philadelphia ‘d seem to ‘ve a slite advantage. in 3 previous meetings, the ∪ ‘ve secured two wins and a draw, and philly is a perfect 8-0-0 at home this season. and yet, the ∪ don’t ‘ve everything goin their own way.

goalkeeper andre blake is out witha broken hand, and although joe bendik did wha’ he ‘d to step in gainsta crew, he didn’t reach the lvl of the man he replaced. thall nd'2 change come sun. midfield wrecking ball jose martinez ‘d make a return, which ‘d give manager jim curtin a huge boost.

new england also appears to be healing up atta rite time, w'da designated player triumvirate of carles gil, gustavo bou and adam buksa all healthy.

there’s also the not-so-lil matter of history. the ∪ ‘ve been onna cusp of some signature wins, reaching the u.s. open cup final in 2014, 2015 and 2018, 1-ly to come up short. claiming the shield on sun ‘d be a breakthrough moment for this side.

as for toronto, the reds are a bit dinged up swell, with pablo piatti and justin morrow out for the match gainsta red bulls and jozy altidore ?able. the two teams tied 1-1 in their 1-ly regular-season meeting this yr, but'a additional hardships tfc has had to endure this season — including having to play some of its “home” games in east hartford, connecticut — ‘ve steeled the reds to a degree.

given manager greg vanney’s impassioned comments bout the shield when it looked as if it mite not be awarded this season, there’s no doubt toronto ll'be plenty motivated. but so will the red bulls, who ll'be keen to obtain a 1st-round bye when the joust begin l8r in nov.

play

1:06

herculez gomez explains why javier ‘chicharito’ hernandez ll'be staying w'da la galaxy despite his poor play.

mostly settled inna west

cutout it to the team that most personifies chaos to actually bring some order to the skirmish race inna western conference. the midweek results mean that the postseason pticipants are all locked in thx to the san jose earthquakes‘ 3-2 win over lafc, a victory that completed the quakes’ transformation from conference doormat to skirmish qualifier for the 1st time since 2017. their chaos-fueled approach will bear watching, win or lose.

the rapids deserve huge credit swell, rallying for a pair of victories and qualifying for the postseason after a covid-19 outbreak threatened to upend their campaign and resulted in a significantly reduced schedule. the two wins ‘oer the seattle sounders na timbers meant that even if the league had used total points — rather than points per game — to decide the league standings, the rapids still ‘d ‘ve qualified.

that means all that’s left to decide inna west is positioning. sporting kansas city has the inside track to claim the top spot inna west. a win over a real salt lake team with nothing to play for other than pride will do the trick, though seattle and portland are still in contention.

postseason clinching scenarios (via mls)
mls points per game standings (via mls) | schedule | statistics

thris also incentive to grab home-field advantage for at least the 1st round. on that count, the match tween minnesota ∪d fc and fc dallas tis most intriguing, given that the loons are rite behind dallas inna standings, though lafc na rapids ‘d jump inna'da top 4.

the drama is inna east

beyond the quest for the supporters’ shield, most of the attention inna eastern conference ll'be onna demolition derby set to take place for the final two skirmish spots, where 5 teams — the montreal impact, chicago fire, atlanta ∪d fc, inter miami cf and d.c. ∪d — are still in contention for the postseason.

it’s a wanda that any of these teams is still inna hunt, but mls’ postseason generosity is ever-expanding. it’s possible 1-odda qualifiers ‘d ‘ve a points-per-game μ of 1.0, a dubious mark that ‘d break the post-shootout record of 1.1 set by the 2004 revolution.

montreal and chicago control their respective fates, w'da impact taking na' d.c. side twas' seemingly spent some weeks ago but s'been rejuvenated under interim manager chad ashton. winger paul arriola ‘d make a shock return from acl surgery earlier inna yr, aiding the black-and-red’s long-shot bid. chicago faces a difficult task in facing an in-form new york city fc side, espeshly after bloing a two-goal lead in midweek against minnesota.

it’s embarrassing for atlanta ∪d to even be in this position given the h8s they scaled during their 1st 3 seasons, but there they are, needing a result against columbus to ‘ve any hope of reaching the postseason. and yes, inter miami also are still in contention, with probably the easiest assignment of any of the contenders: a home date with fc cincinnati.

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