A closer look at the final week’s Supporters Shield and playoffs scenarios

Markus Holgersson, C.J. Sapong

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

As we head into the final week of the 2013 Major League Soccer season, there are still four places in the playoffs and a Supporters Shield title up for grabs.

The Eastern Conference has the tightest playoff race with the Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo, and Philadelphia Union still fighting for a chance to make the post season. Interestingly enough, four of the five teams from third place to seventh place play on the road, making their challenges that much difficult. Only the Union play at home, though they will need to win and have other results go in their favor to extend their season into November.

For the first time in the league’s 18-year history, the Supporters Shield title could be heading to Red Bull Arena as the New York Red Bulls need just a win to clinch their first piece of major silverware. Sporting Kansas City, the Portland Timbers, and Real Salt Lake are all snapping at the Red Bulls heels if they falter in their season finale.

Here’s a closer look at MLS Week 36’s Supporters Shield and playoffs scenarios:

SUPPORTERS SHIELD SCENARIOS

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls can win the Supporters Shield in one of three ways:

  • a win vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday.
  • a tie vs. Chicago Fire AND a Sporting Kansas City loss/tie vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
  • a loss vs. Chicago Fire AND Sporting KC loss vs. Union AND Portland Timbers loss/tie vs. Chivas USA on Saturday AND Real Salt Lake loss/tie vs. Chivas USA on Wednesday.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Sporting Kansas City can win the Supporters Shield with:

  • a win vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday AND a New York Red Bulls loss/tie vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers can win the Supporters Shield with:

  • a win vs. Chivas USA on Saturday AND a Sporting Kansas City loss/tie vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday AND a New York Red Bulls loss vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday.

REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake can win the Supporters Shield with:

  • a win vs. Chivas USA on Wednesday AND a Sporting Kansas City tie/loss vs. Philadelphia Union with Sporting KC not scoring eight goals more than RSL AND a New York Red Bulls loss vs. Chicago Fire with Red Bulls not scoring three more goals than RSL AND a Portland Timbers tie/loss vs. Chivas USA.

PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

The New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Portland Timbers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and Seattle Sounders have all qualified for the post-season, while D.C. United, Chivas USA, Toronto FC, FC Dallas, Columbus Crew, and the Vancouver Whitecaps have all been eliminated.

Here’s the scenarios for the remaining seven teams:

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.
  • a New England Revolution tie/loss vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday.
  • a Houston Dynamo tie/loss vs. D.C. United on Sunday.
  • an Impact tie vs. Toronto FC AND a Chicago Fire loss vs. New York Red Bulls OR a Chicago Fire tie vs. New York Red Bulls with the Fire scoring five less goals than the Impact.
  • an Impact loss vs. Toronto FC AND Chicago Fire score five goals less than the Impact in a loss vs. New York Red Bulls.

CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
  • a New England Revolution tie/loss vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday.
  • a Houston Dynamo tie/loss vs. D.C. United on Sunday.
  • a Fire tie vs. New York Red Bulls and either a Montreal Impact loss vs. Toronto FC on Saturday or the Fire score five more goals than the Impact if they tie Toronto FC.
  • a Fire loss vs. New York Red Bulls but they score five more goals than the Impact if Impact lose to Toronto FC.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday AND a Montreal Impact tie/loss vs. Toronto FC OR a Chicago Fire tie/loss vs. New York Red Bulls OR a Houston Dynamo tie/loss vs. D.C. United OR Houston Dynamo score less than eight goals in win vs. D.C. United
  • a tie vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday AND a Houston Dynamo loss vs. D.C. United OR the Dynamo score less than ten goals in tie vs. D.C. United OR a Philadelphia Union loss vs. Sporting Kansas City OR the Union score less than eight goals than the Revolution in win vs. Sporting Kansas City
  • a loss vs. Columbus Crew on Sunday AND a Houston Dynamo loss vs. D.C. United and they score ten less goals than the Revolution AND a Philadelphia Union tie/loss vs. Sporting Kansas City.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. D.C. United on Sunday AND a Montreal Impact tie/loss vs. Toronto FC OR a Chicago Fire tie/loss vs. New York Red Bulls OR a New England Revolution tie/loss vs. Columbus Crew OR the Dynamo score ten more goals than the Revolution.
  • a tie vs. D.C. United on Sunday AND a New England Revolution loss vs. Columbus Crew or Dynamo score ten more goals than the Revolution if they tie vs. Crew AND a Philadelphia Union tie/loss vs. Sporting Kansas City or Dynamo score two more goals than the Union if Union win vs. Sporting Kansas City.
  • a loss vs. D.C. United on Sunday AND the Dynamo score ten more goals than the Revolution in a Revolution loss vs. Columbus Crew AND a Philadelphia Union tie/loss vs. Sporting Kansas City.

PHILADELPHIA UNION

The Philadelphia Union can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday AND a New England Revolution loss vs. Columbus Crew AND a Houston Dynamo loss vs. D.C. United.

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids can make the playoffs with:

  • a win/tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.
  • a San Jose Earthquakes tie/loss vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
  • a loss vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday AND Earthquakes do not score 13 more goals than the Rapids in win vs. FC Dallas.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes can make the playoffs with:

  • a win vs. FC Dallas on Saturday AND a Colorado Rapids loss vs. Vancouver Whitecaps AND the Earthquakes score 13 more goals than the Rapids.

——-

What do you think of these scenarios? Which do you see most likely to play out? Who do you see making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference? Do you see the Red Bulls lifting the Supporters Shield?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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54 Responses to A closer look at the final week’s Supporters Shield and playoffs scenarios

  1. slowleftarm says:

    So unless SKC wins a draw will be enough for RBNY on Sunday?

  2. CeezNYRB says:

    Bye bye San Jose. VAMOS RED BULLS!!!

  3. PD says:

    oh dear god, can I just think about this NEXT week?

  4. Buttjuice says:

    Forget about Portland or RSL winning the shield, it’s gonna be RBNY or SKC.

    Also, one of those two are going to win MLS cup. Less quality competition in the east

    • Joe says:

      I like Portland against either one of those two. Admittedly biased, PTFC fan and season ticket holder here.

      Less competition means less a chance of preparing. Portland – while they have drawn a lot – has played a gauntlet over the last 6 weeks. RSL is the only team that worries me, even though we shot ourselves in the foot in two matches, they are our the elephant in the room at Jeld Wen.

      Plus, regular season opener, should been 3-1 if Mikael Silvestre wasn’t imagining himself in Aruba as he played his first game in a long while without any preseason. Ugh, ifs and buts and all of that but if we don’t give up that trip of a goal to Espindola Portland is easily winning the Supporters Shield. Course, could say that about one of the other 14 draws haha.

      Should be a blast, nice to not be watching from the outside for once.

      • Joamiq says:

        Yeah, well, if RB didn’t do a bunch of other stuff to drop points along the way they’d be running away with the Shield, so the if game doesn’t really lead you anywhere. Portland isn’t the only team in the league to have dropped points on silly mistakes.

  5. Brain Guy says:

    I think RBNY can also win the Shield despite a loss to Chicago, under an additional scenario: loss/tie by Portland and SKC, and a low-scoring win by RSL. RSL leads RBNY by 2 goals scored, so if RBNY loses but outscores RSL by three (say, a 5-4 loss plus a 1-0 win by RSL), I think RBNY still finishes on top.

    My head hurts.

  6. elgringorico says:

    The supporter’s shield still doesn’t qualify as a trophy, right?

  7. Randy says:

    Would it be really cool if mls had all these games played at the same time and date to add to the drama? Seems like a great marketing opportunity.

    • petedx says:

      Well there are an odd number of teams, so for now that is not possible. For instance Portland and RSL both play Chivas for their last game and Chivas has a hard enough time playing one team at a time.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      WIth NBCSN breakeaway. That would be epic!!!

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      They will get there someday. It almost has to go that way, because of the advantage of playing last and knowing what you need to get a better seed ( or make the playoffs )

      Talk about scoreboard watching. Every team tied at 52 points and playing each other. Win you have homefield for the whole playoffs, tie and you make it, lose and you are out.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Agreed, would be epic. Unfortunately tv contracts prevent this (has to be friday night game, espn game, nbcsn game, etc…) and the networks all can’t agree to have them at the same time.

  8. Fred says:

    I think SJEQs have enough clout to score 13.

  9. Travis in Miami says:

    My favorite scenario would be the one that get Houston in based on “the Dynamo score ten more goals than the Revolution.”

    • AcidBurn says:

      Brian Ching is going to walk out of the stands, tear off his suit to reveal a Dynamo jersey beneath it and score the 11th goal in the 93rd minute to assure an 11-11 tie.

      Piece of cake.

  10. slughog says:

    I don’t think the Revs scenario is correct. Based on the current standings, all the Revs need to do is win on Sunday and they are in (unless Houston scores 9+goals). It is not dependent on any other results. Or am I misunderstanding the scenarios?

    • Impartial Observer says:

      I thought the same thing, what they wrote is misleading.
      Lead off with this: The Revolution are in with a win. UNLESS the Dynamo score more than 10 goals. (Which will definitely not happen.)

      The scenario here, while technically correct is confusing and unnecessary, so maybe keep it but lead off with the sentence I wrote.

  11. RBNY says:

    We got this win and Shield, but I will be watching the Philly match hoping that they take care of business and some how make it into the playoffs. Would be epic to travel to Philly should they make the Semis.

  12. Stracho says:

    Will we someday think about final standings in terms of CCL spots?

  13. Jacknut says:

    C’mon Fire and SKC.

  14. Steve says:

    Seattle is going to win it.

    • AcidBurn says:

      I mean the Shield race is over, Seattle has all those games in hand. Their PPG is soooo much better than the rest of the league!

      Sorry, I’ve been cryogenically frozen the past three weeks and now UK intelligence has just woke me up.

    • Chupacabra says:

      It being the Choke of the Year award.

  15. Donk says:

    Why does the Supporter’s shield matter? It doesn’t mean anything. Woohoo, you won the most games but did you win the championship? No? Ok, well then who cares.

    • petedx says:

      Well first of all it doesn’t mean you won the most games. Also, you qualify for the champions league so, yeah it does mean something.

    • JRP says:

      You must be new to the sport. Welcome. Glad you like soccer.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        I have been around soccer for over 40 years. I don’t care about the Supporters Shield either….except for the home field advantage.

        Is that long enough ?…or am I still new ?

        • Joamiq says:

          People are free to care about what they want to care about, but to claim that it doesn’t mean anything is silly, and to act incredulous at the possibility that others might care does suggest perhaps a lack of familiarity with the way the sport usually works. To finish on top after the whole regular season means something, even if the meaning is lessened by the unbalanced schedule, engineered parity (which enhances the role of luck vs. quality), and the emphasis on the playoffs. At the very least it means CCL, home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and something for the trophy case.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        I would contend that the newer guys to soccer care more about single table and other Euro-bred insecurities. Would you disagree ?

        For those of us that grew up as American soccer did there was always playoffs. There was no internet and massive cable packages, so we could be awestruck by the big leagues and insecure enough to care what they are doing. We had a blast when the Sounders scored in sudden death overtime in the semis and want that again.

        • slowleftarm says:

          It’s not about “euro-bred insecurities,” it’s about rewarding the team that played the best over the long haul rather than the team that played the best for a few weeks in the playoffs. The Supporters Shield gives us a chance to do both, although reverting back to the unbalanced schedule maybe takes a little luster off the SS.

          As for the rest of your post, congrats on being old. We’re all impressed.

          • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

            Just didn’t like how JRP attacked the other guy with dumb logic.
            Don’t give one bit if I impress anyone……even if you were speaking out of turn for everyone else.

            • JRP says:

              The SS holds true to the history of the sport at a club level.
              I didn’t attack him.

            • JRP says:

              Just noticed you are a Sounders fan.
              Perspective is an interesting thing.
              Open Cup? What are your feelings there. If you think the Open Cup is meaningless, I agree.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Wow, Donk is such a Eurosnob. I bet he bathes himself in Carlsberg while eating a meat pie.

  16. Big Chil says:

    It is still possible for any of the top 5 seeds in the West to finish first in the Conference.

    • Perpetual Student says:

      Yes if Colorado or Seattle win and everybody else loses either of them could tie PTFC on points. Portland loses the tie breaker against everybody since they got so many draws. Even though everybody could potentially pass Portland, Portland is guaranteed at least fourth place no matter what. Since Seattle is playing Los Angeles only one of them could pass Portland but not both.

  17. JRP says:

    Contest: What is the best T-Shirt slogan ripping on the Earthquakes “Goonies Never Say Die” mantra?