There are only four matches to play for the Union in 2022; this team could wind up winning both the east and the Supporters’ Shield in that time! The race is on for both as the season is moving at a blistering pace to the end of the regular season. Could we really be seeing a side from Philadelphia not just be the best in the east, but the best in MLS?
Union going for the Shield; seven points clear in east
With four matches to play for the Union, the stars seem to be aligning for them to turn this history-making season into one that is truly special. Philadelphia fears no one; they have a clear way to play the game and play that way at home and on the road. They’ll play the same way against all 27 teams in MLS, it’s a tenacious style of play that is based on pressure to the ball and being lethal with chances.
Now, Philly is seven points clear of any team in the east and tied on points with LAFC for the Shield. Things are being set in motion for these last few weeks to be an epic end to the regular season and the start of a potentially special postseason run!
Philly’s magic number to win the east is 5!
The Union is far and away the best team in the eastern conference. With the final four matchdays here, it’s time to solidify places for the playoffs. Philly already clinched their playoff spot last week; now we know five points from their last four games will give them the top spot in all of the east! Can they shorten that gap this weekend?
The Union took it to New York beating them 2-0. This team is just so damn good at finding ways to win now. Games like the one they played against Red Bull used to be ones where they would draw or lose. Now this team is above that with the difference makers they have in the attack.
Montreal had a crazy match against rival Toronto FC, winning 4-3. They went down 2-0 early on, and things looked bleak for this side, but they didn’t give up. Rallying back in a rivalry match the way they did could make Montreal a stronger side as they head into the playoffs looking like a very strong 2-seed!
Red Bull can’t win the east or the shield, but they can keep moving up the standings. With four matches to go, they can keep the pressure on and knock others down in the process. It starts this weekend vs New England; will they be able to bounce back, or fall back into a pack of mid eastern conference teams?
NYCFC’s freefall continues as they lost 3-0 to New England last weekend and drew at home vs Cincinnati midweek. City has lost in six of their last eight matches; taking just four points from a possible 24! Their collapse has been historically bad, but they can still keep a top-four spot with four games still to play…
The east is looking pretty straightforward, while the Shield race is still a chaos-filled four-team race.
It’s so close to a two-team race for the Supporters’ Shield!
There are still four teams alive in the Supporters’ Shield race, but it was a six-team race last week! Both New York teams were eliminated from the Shield race this past week, as they can’t eclipse 60 points. Now it’s only LAFC, Philly, Montreal, or Austin who can lift the Shield in 2022.
LAFC got back to their winning ways at home vs RSL last weekend. Now they’ll go on the road for two games in four days; a road trip that could decide whether the Shield will come to Los Angeles or not. This weekend LA goes to a third-place Dallas side looking to make a statement, could they shake things up in the Shield race?
Philly has to win to keep the pressure on LAFC! They can’t win the Shield outright by winning right now but come next week that could be a different story. If LAFC drops points against Dallas and Minnesota on Tuesday, then Philly will just need to keep beating the teams below them to grasp the Shield!
Montreal has already leapfrogged Austin at the minute due to playing this weekend match. Their Friday night last-minute draw against Columbus has them seven points back of the Shield. Montreal has a reliance about them. They can take care of their business while in front or coming from behind. If LAFC and Philly drop points Montreal could actually be the top team in MLS.
Austin dropped their second match in a row last weekend losing 3-0 to Nashville. The Verde and Black are now nine points off the lead for the Shield and the western conference. This team might be cooling off a bit, but they have the players that can provide a late-season spark. They have a game in hand on most teams, could that be the difference?
There are only five match weeks to go. Will we see things play out as they “should” or will chaos take over? I mean, this is MLS after all so I think we all know the answer.
Only five match weeks to go in 2022!
There are five match weeks left in the MLS season. Some teams have four matches in that time, others have five. time is of the essence for all the teams fighting for the top spots that are still available. This week’s matchups to watch involve all of those teams fighting to be the best.
- Montreal 2 – 2 Columbus | Friday, Sept. 9
- Charlotte vs NYCFC | Saturday, Sept. 10, 1 pm ET
- Red Bull vs New England | Saturday, Sept. 10, 6 pm ET
- Philadelphia vs Orlando | Saturday, Sept. 10, 7:30 pm ET
- Seattle vs Austin | Saturday, Sept. 10, 8 pm ET
- Dallas vs LAFC | Saturday, Sept. 10, 8 pm ET
Will we see more of a shake-up? Will the top teams keep their form above all others? This 2022 MLS season has provided some amazing games and the highest quality the league has seen. Now it’s coming down to the nitty-gritty. Who can dig deep and get the result needed to move themselves even closer to glory and another trophy? We’ll have to wait and see to find out!
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Mandatory Credit: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire