The Philadelphia Union and LAFC are in a heated race for the MLS Supporters Shield. The Union jumped LA last week, however, after the weekend, LA has retaken control thanks to the tiebreaker. With only 2 games left in the MLS regular season, the shield race is far from over.

Union Fans, Stop Stressing

The Union had a disappointing draw in Atlanta on the Saturday before this 2-week international break. A result that allowed LAFC to retake control of their Shield destiny. However, the Union should be thrilled they walked away with a point.

First, the Union did not put 1 shot on target during the game. Andre Blake is the reason they escaped with a point. Secondly, the point still ensures that LAFC must win out.

The two sides are tied at 64 points. LA does have the tiebreaker, which is wins. Right now, if LA wins out, the shield is theirs.

However, the Union can still apply pressure on LA. If the Union win out, LA has to follow if they want the shield. Looking at the schedules of the two teams, one side has a much harder task than the other.

The Road for the Union

LAFC and the Union end the season in two very different ways. The Union gets two teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. At Charlotte and then home against Toronto on decision day.

Now, there is no guarantee in MLS. Toronto should be a guaranteed win for the Union to end the season. It’s their last home game and Toronto is a bad team with nothing to play for. Now, the Charlotte game could be tricky.

Not only does Charlotte still have a playoff lifeline but the game is scheduled for this Saturday in Charlotte. Currently, hurricane Ian is expected to make its way to the area around that time. If the game is able to be played, it is likely to be a not very nice environment. Winds, rains, and playing on the road. Charlotte is the last big scare the Union faces before the end of the season.

LA Will Have to Earn It

LAFC first has to go to Portland. If you haven’t been paying attention out west, Portland is in the midst of its patented end-of-season scorch. The Timber have gone from below the playoff line to fighting for a home playoff game in a matter of weeks.

After that, LA does get to end the season at home. Unfortunately, they welcome the red-hot Nashville SC and MLS MVP favorite Hany Mukhtar. Another team that has been red hot down the stretch. Let’s just state the obvious and say the Union has the advantage in strength of schedule.

Now, LAFC could beat both of those teams. If they do it, they most definitely are deserving of the Supporters Shield. However, if they have just 1 slip up, the Union can go right back on top.

The Race for the Final Two Games

LA and the Union are tied with 64 points. LA holds the tiebreaker, controls its own destiny, and clinches the shield with 2 wins.

For the Union, they can still apply pressure. If the Union wins, LA has to as well to stay up top. Any dropped points by LA opens the window for the Union to jump them.

The bottom line is just stop stressing about it. Both teams have had amazing seasons. It will be an entertaining fight for the shield right until the end. Whoever comes out on top, will have earned it.

After that, it’s all in on the MLS Cup.

Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/PHLSportsNation

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