Supporter’s Shield: Philadelphia Union Now Control Their Own Destiny

Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles FC played to a 1-1 tie with Minnesota on Tuesday night, which means your town, your team, your Philadelphia Union now control their own destiny in their quest for a second Supporter’s Shield in three seasons.

This is what the MLS standings look like with Philly and LAFC now caught up and having played 31 games apiece:

If you’re not a soccer person and have no idea what you’re looking at, I’ll break it down:

  1. The Supporter’s Shield is a trophy given to the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. The Union won it in 2020 for the first time, during the pandemic year.
  2. Both LAFC and Philly have three games remaining. If the Union win out, the Shield is theirs, as they finish on 72 points.
  3. The first tiebreaker is actually TOTAL GAMES WON, so you see there LAFC at 19 wins and the Union at 18 wins. There could still be some funkiness where the U and LA end up finishing on the same points, and LAFC taking the trophy on that tiebreaker.
  4. HOWEVER, if they finish with the same amount of points and same amount of wins, the second tiebreaker is goal differential, which the Union own by a 20 goal margin. Philly is +46 on the year, which is insane, and LA is +26.
  5. The Union haven’t technically clinched yet, but they’ll be returning to the Champion’s League for the second time in three years.

That’s the simple break down right there. They control their own destiny with trips to Atlanta and Charlotte remaining, plus the home finale against Toronto. LAFC has to host Houston, go to Portland, and then finish with Nashville at home. They have had the harder path, LAFC, with a tougher schedule to finish the season. The Union have been playing better and playing an easier schedule, just demolishing teams left and right. Their next opponent is a leaky team that they beat 4-1 recently and has to go to Orlando midweek. Of the Union’s three remaining opponents, all three are below the playoff line, while LAFC plays two teams currently in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Don’t wanna jinx it, but the Shield is there for the taking. It’s lining up perfectly for the Union’s second trophy and a postseason run.