The Sounders took their destiny in their own hands and fought their way to #1 in the race for the Supporter’s Shield. It was a fantastic match to have witnessed! We all knew that a win over RSL at home on Friday night was going to put us in first place, but the results from the remaining matches yesterday were also highly beneficial to our keeping our top spot.
Montreal and RSL are our strongest competitors at this point. However, we do not have any matches remaining against either. This means that it is up to us to match them in results over the next 6 weeks. Montreal is, in some ways, the tougher of the two in that we not only do not play them for a quick point spread, we also do not have any games in hand on them. When looking at Montreal’s remaining schedule, they do have some tough opponents, but I would not have predicted that Columbus was going to beat them in their house 2-1. This helped greatly by putting them 4 points below us.
As we know, beating RSL on Friday night put us 1 point up with 2 remaining matches in hand. The results from this weekend benefit us in regards to RSL’s remaining schedule in that the playoff races in both the East and, to a lesser extent, the West just tightened up. The draws between LA at DC and Portland at Chivas were great for us because it did not allow for them to "pull away" from Dallas and Vancouver. In the East, we saw Houston and Chicago pass over Philadelphia and New England for play-off spots, but there is only 3 points separating the 4 teams. I believe that when teams are fighting for points to secure a spot in the playoffs, remember lower ranked teams have won the MLS cup, they can put in extraordinary effort and beat higher placed clubs. This will only help us with Montreal, 6 of their remaining 7 matches are against teams within or bordering on a playoff spot.
As for us, as Sigi says, "obviously" our 2 matches against LA are going to be very important. A draw and a win would be ideal, the last match of the season against LA will also be the remaining completely open stadium. So I implore you to spread the word, it will be a great chance for the borderline soccer fans to witness an EPIC match that will most likely feature 5 USMNT players and based on current form, when the Seattle Sounders FC clinch their first Supporter's Shield!