I think it’s time to level some attention on the neglected stepchild of MLS, the Supporters Shield race. That means taking a look at the West.
- Dallas and Sporting KC are both ahead of NYC. All the attention has been on Atlanta because of the Eastern Conference competition, and the 2-year CCL spot race. SKC has no CCL relevance, as they already qualified with their USOC win last year; Dallas started this year 11 points back (their current point total puts them even with the Red Bulls on adam‘s CCL Race chart, albeit with one fewer game in hand). But both SKC and Dallas factor into the SS and even if you don’t care about that, both SKC and FCD are potential MLS Cup Final opponents should NYC ever get that far, and playing them in Yankee Stadium would be nice. NYC has won against both teams, which is a real accomplishment: Dallas has not lost to anyone else and SKC’s has only one other loss. They are ahead of NYC because almost nobody else can beat them. They also both have more away wins than NYC despite playing fewer Away games to date. They still have both games remaining against each other — one of those in Week 33, so points will be dropped by somebody there, and maybe a draw means points dropped for both. Dallas hosts Atlanta in a midweek Independence Day matchup where I expect we will prefer Dallas. SKC has to go to Portland this Saturday, where the Timbers have not lost. I am going to disagree with Adam’s CCL post from this morning and root for the Timbers.
- More from the above chart: the West has 3 teams worse than Montreal. But overall the West is much improved over last year. I will update the Interconference Play thread soon, and the East has a small lead, having played most of the games at home. Last year the Fifth Place East team had more points than the best of the West, and it was clear by this point of the season that the East winner would win the SS. That is not the case this year. The East can win the SS to be sure, but it is just not a certainty.
- For the first time this year I think Toronto will have to fight to make the playoffs. They still have a good shot, if only because Orlando and the Union seem destined to self-destruct, but it is going to take a significant run. They now need 1.77 PPG to get to 50 points. Though they managed 2.03 PPG over a full season last year, 1.77 is still a tough ask and such a turn-around for a team that seems to have a major hangover from 2 straight MLS cup final runs and their CCL play this year.
- The NYC year to year line charts:
- NYCFC’s next MLS season win will be number 50 of their history. Their next loss will be number 49.
- Final season point goals: