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Table watching: Supporters' Shield race heats up, but 'Caps remain atop the table

VANCOUVER, BC  The race for the MLS Supporters’ Shield (awarded to the best team in the regular season) is as close as ever. But after another week of MLS action, Vancouver Whitecaps FC remain in pole position.

Here’s a look at the current standings (with just six weeks remaining):

#

TEAM

PTS

GP

1

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

48

28

2

FC Dallas

47

27

3

LA Galaxy

47

29

4

New York Red Bulls

45

26

5

D.C. United

45

29

LA Galaxy had an opportunity to leapfrog the ‘Caps this weekend, but they were held to a scoreless draw with Montreal Impact at the StubHub Center. Meanwhile, FC Dallas picked up their third straight win to move within a point with Whitecaps FC – and they have a game in hand.

This might be a good time to remind you that Whitecaps FC play back-to-back games against FC Dallas next month. Safe to say there’s going to be a lot riding on those matches.  

Another way to break down Supporters’ Shield race is by looking at maximum possible points. That number simply tells you how many points a team would end up with if they win all their remaining matches (since some teams have played more games than others to date). See below.

TEAM

MAX PTS

New York Red Bulls

69

FC Dallas

68

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

66

LA Galaxy

62

Sporting KC

62

According to this table, New York and FC Dallas actually have the mathematical edge over Vancouver. But that’s why you play the games.

Finally, that brings us to “strength of schedule.” ­This shows how difficult a team’s remaining schedule is by measuring their opponents’ points-per-game at home and on the road. The lower the number, the easier the remaining schedule.

Let’s take a look at Vancouver, Dallas and New York.

TEAM

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.26

New York Red Bulls

1.36

FC Dallas

1.66

So among the three frontrunners, the ‘Caps actually have the easiest remaining schedule. But once again, that’s why you play the games. 

Who do you see as Vancouver’s toughest competitor for the Supporters’ Shield?

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