Toronto earn their second loss in a row due to a shocking late defeat in New England. While NYCFC failed to find the perfect form they need, Atlanta United are on the war path and seem set on doing everything they can to challenge for the Shield. Whilst all this was happening, a 3-1 defeat in Philadelphia saw the Fire eliminated from the race for the Supporter’s Shield.
1. Toronto FC (Eastern Conference)
Record: 18-8-5 (62 points)
Form: WWWWLL (Last six games)
With the loss to New England Revolution marking their second in a row, and still missing Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto are in a free-fall. While NYCFC is faltering, Atlanta United are on the rise and are capable of challenging for the Shield if Toronto can’t get a hold of their plummet. All this said, Toronto only really have the Shield and a good playoff seeding to worry about, as they have already clinched a berth. With the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact left to play at home, and then an away trip to Atlanta United’s new fortress, Toronto won’t have the easiest of times finding a win, especially considering they are without a win against either the Red Bulls or Atlanta and Montreal just beat them at home last week. A single win in any of their three remaining games will clinch the Supporters’ Shield.
2. New York City FC (Eastern Conference)
Record: 16-7-8 (55 points)
A draw against Houston Dynamo after establishing an early lead will not do any favours for NYCFC’s chances of prying the Shield away from Toronto. Their win over the Impact Wednesday was not as convincing as one might expect from an NYCFC team chasing the shield. With their last three games consisting of the the Fire, and the Revolution away, and then the Crew at home, NYCFC have a difficult schedule ahead. While they have beaten each of these teams already this season, the Revolution just beat Toronto this last week and while their loss to Orlando Wednesday will certainly leave them sunned, they are still capable of a win. It’ll be tough, but in the end NYCFC have the team to do pull it off.
3. Atlanta United (Eastern Conference)
Record: 15-7-8 (52 points)
Atlanta are a team currently on fire, with a 5-1-0 record over the last six games and all in their new stadium. They have managed to outscore their opponents 22-3 in those six games, scoring three in their victory of the Union Wednesday. Now, they will travel to New England to play a Revolution side that they just beat 7-0 three weeks ago, and then they’ll host a Minnesota team that they beat 1-6 in their second game this season. The real struggle will be in mid-October when they travel to New York to play a Red Bulls team that they lost their season opener to, and then they will host league leaders Toronto FC the next week. Their remaining schedule shouldn’t be too hard until those last two games, but Atlanta has a chance at the shield if they can hold on the whole way.
4. Vancouver Whitecaps (Western Conference)
Record: 14-6-10 (48 points)
The Whitecaps just earned a win against an unconvincing Rapids team over the weekend, but that might end up being their last win of the season. Having just lost convincingly to the Sounders Wednesday, their next two games away from home against SKC and the Red Bulls will be difficult. They’ll receive a reprieve in the form of a home game against a weak Earthquakes team, but will then be on the road again to play the Timbers in the last game of the season. With their loss to the Sounders Wednesday, the Whitecaps are now mathematically incapable of winning the shield.
5. Chicago Fire (Eastern Conference)
Record: 15-6-10 (51 points)
The Fire have been looking rough lately, and as a result of that they are no longer capable of winning the Supporters’ Shield. Their loss to the Union over the weekend really hurt their playoff campaign and saw then drop to fourth in the East, below Atlanta. With a win against the Earthquakes Wednesday, they are now on track to make the playoffs again, needing to catastrophically fail over their remaining games. Their next three games are against the NYCFC, the Union, and then the Dynamo. All teams that the Fire will struggle to find an important win against. At this point, while unlikely, it is still possible for the Fire to drop completely out of the playoffs. They will need to buckle down and grind out a couple of favourable results if they are going to try to make a playoff run.