One. Point. That is all that separates FC Dallas from their second trophy of the year, as they took commanding lead of the Supporters' Shield race on Sunday night.
Around the entire Western Conference, almost nothing was solidified in the Week 33 chaos. If anything, the races got even tighter heading into Decision Day - where there's a lot to be decided. Here's what Sunday had in store:
- Dallas took a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders
- Portland beat Colorado at home, 1-0
- LA took a 1-0 result on the road at Houston
- Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC played to a 0-0 draw
- Vancouver and San Jose also drew, 0-0
That leaves us with a West table that looks like this:
|#||Team||Points||Record||Games Rem.||Goal Diff.|
|1||x - FC Dallas||59||17-8-8||1||10|
|2||x - Colorado Rapids||57||15-6-12||1||7|
|3||x - LA Galaxy||51||12-6-15||1||15|
|4||Real Salt Lake||46||12-11-10||1||-1|
|5||Seattle Sounders FC||45||13-14-6||1||0|
|8||e - San Jose Earthquakes||38||8-11-14||1||-6|
|9||e - Vancouver Whitecaps FC||36||9-15-9||1||-10|
|10||e - Houston Dynamo||33||7-14-12||1||-6|
Chasing the Shield
Dallas, having a two-point lead now on the top spot, needs just a draw to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Even if Colorado were to win at home against Houston in their 2016 finale, FCD owns the first tie-breaker, wins, outright with 17 to the Rapids' 15.
A win or draw for Dallas, or a loss coupled with a Colorado non-win would win it. The only way the Rapids can take the Shield would be with a win and an FC Dallas loss to LA on Sunday.
The Rest of the Field
The only thing decided on Sunday out West was that the Galaxy locked up the No. 3 seed with their win over Houston, coupled with the draw between RSL-SKC and the Sounders' loss. Beyond that, the knock-down, drag-out fight for the final three playoff berths will go on another week. Portland's must-win result at home has the four teams still alive separated by two points.
Seattle and RSL will go head-to-head on Decision Day with the winner hosting a Knockout Round game (as the likely 4 seed) and the loser in danger of possibly not playing another game in 2016, dependent on what happens in the other two's matches. A draw would see RSL through and Seattle possibly missing the postseason (if SKC and POR win) after their miraculous comeback from the depths of the West.
Sporting KC and Portland have identical records at 12-13-8 and 44 points. SKC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes (1 win in last 10), while Portland travels to face Vancouver (1 win in last 13) while not having won a single game on the road to date this year. The final spot could very well come down to who can win by more and take the second tie-breaker, goal differential, on Sunday. As it stands now, Sporting KC has a one-goal advantage in that department.
The ensuing joy, tears and chaos are all set for 3 PM (CT) on Sunday. Here's the full slate of games:
- FC Dallas at LA Galaxy
- Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo
- Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers
- Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes