With only five teams currently capable of winning the Supporters’ Shield, Toronto are looking set to win it. That is, if they can get past this shocking defeat to the Impact. Elsewhere you have Atlanta United surging up the rankings from ninth last week to fourth this week, an NYCFC team that can’t find a win, and a Fire team that just has found a win, all chasing in Toronto’s exhaust trail.
1. Toronto FC (Eastern Conference)
Record: 18-8-4 (62 points)
Form: WWWWWL (Last six games)
Toronto are only a couple of wins away from securing the Supporters’ Shield, but with their recent setback against the Impact, are Toronto set for a downturn in form? They will need to fix their issues or their competition will catch up to them. Having lacked Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore in their win over the Galaxy, and then Victor Vazquez on top of the other two for the Montreal game, they are decidedly weak. Tosaint Ricketts stepped up and netted a brace in both games, filling an important gap, but the sooner Toronto can get its’ key players back the better.
2. New York City FC (Eastern Conference)
Record: 15-6-8 (51 points)
With their failure to win against a stalwart Union defence, NYCFC will have to reconsider their approach for their upcoming games. Now having failed to win two matches in a row, they will struggle to keep up with a vulnerable Toronto. Their upcoming schedule will provide a couple of more challenges for them, and they will need to use their game in hand to their advantage.
3. Chicago Fire (Eastern Conference)
Record: 14-6-9 (48 points)
The Fire’s win against DC United was important in their campaign for the playoffs. Their hope for the Supporters’ Shield will require a miracle at this point, but they should be able to manage a favourable seed in the playoffs. With Nemanja Nikolic Equalling the clubs single-season goal record of 18 goals, surely there are more on the horizon over these last few games for the striker.
4. Atlanta United (Eastern Conference)
Record: 13-7-8 (46 points)
With 19 goals scored in their last five games, Atlanta are hitting their best patch of form this season, and it’s come at a favourable time. They are surging up the table, and with two games in hand, they are set for a good seed in the playoffs. The excellent fluidity they are getting from Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, Yamil Asad, and Hector Villalba, then they are bound to continue scoring goals.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps (Western Conference)
Record: 13-6-9 (45 points)
Tony Tchani’s late equalizer against the Crew kept the Whitecaps in as an outsider for the Supporters’ shield. If Toronto can’t stay in this bad run of form and earn so much as a single win over their next several games then it’s lights out for any dream of the Shield for the Whitecaps. That said, if the Whitecaps can maintain this undefeated form, and also manage to pull out some victories then they might have a chance of winning the Western Conference.