Labor Day weekend has passed, and so has the majority of the season. Teams will have to work harder than ever for the rest of their matches to secure a favorable spot in the playoffs, or find themselves in a position they’ll have to claw out of - or worse, miss the postseason entirely.
The shield race has developed a noticeable separation between FC Dallas and everyone else. In fact the boys in Frisco are collecting points at such an astounding rate, they have a chance to break the single season record of most points in the regular season in the standard rules era of MLS (set by the LA Galaxy in 2011 with 67 points). Granted, that feat is a bit farfetched. FC Dallas currently sit at 51 points with six matches to go. In order to beat the record, the club can not afford a single loss, and can only concede one draw. The streak of wins is not unrealistic either. In 2012, Sporting Kansas City began their season with a 7-0-0 record. New England Revolution accomplished 7-0-1 near the end of the season in 2015, and again at the end of the season through the playoffs in 2014. At their current rate of 1.82PPG, FC Dallas will finish just short of the mark, picking up only 15 more points to finish with 66.
In the playoff race, D.C. United’s run may be ending sooner than they hoped. Letting two leads in one match slip away to NYCFC in a battle that saw four goals in the last twelve minutes (three from City). The loss saw United slip out of the top six in potential points, even though they still hold onto the bubble spot in current points.
The West continues to shake up with Cascadia continuing their slow descent. Portland’s loss to Dallas has given more hope to San Jose, who could slip into the last playoff position ahead of all three of their rivals up north. The Rapids’ loss to New England and the Galaxy’s victory over the steadily declining Crew has tied up the race for home field advantage three ways between the aforementioned and Real Salt Lake. #DecisionDay will be chaotic assuming points remain similar, as none of the three face each other.
This week’s magic number is: 6
Six teams have the possibility of being mathematically eliminated from Supporters Shield contention: Portland Timbers, D.C. United, Seattle Sounders, Orlando City SC, San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City. an FC Dallas win would automatically eliminate the first two, and the remaining four would need to also lose their matches. Five teams are already eliminated: New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo, Vancouver Whitecaps, Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire.