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Race for the Supporter's Shield Week 26

After a nice quiet weekend where all is well in Dallas(Yeah, right), let's start off Tuesday by taking a look at the Supporter's Shield standings as we close in on the final 5 weeks of the 2010 MLS Regular Season. It was a nearly a boffo week 25 for RSL who beat Chicago 1-0 while Dallas, Columbus failed to win and LA squeaked it out at the last moment.

RSL still gained a valuable two points on both Dallas and Columbus and it's looking extremely likely that Dallas' Supporter's Shield hopes(and home field advantage in the first round) will hinge in winning in Salt Lake in a month's time. Quite a daunting ask.

A team by team look after the jump

LA Galaxy

Last 5 games: 7 points

W vs DC United, W vs Columbus, Tie @ Chicago, L vs KC, L @ San Jose

Next 5 games:

vs NY, @ Chivas, @ Union, vs Colorado, vs FC Dallas

Why LA will win the Supporter's Shield:

No one has been able to make up enough ground to take it from them. I don't believe LA is the best team in the league at the moment, however with the schedule they have left, it's unlikely LA is going to drop the needed points for another team to take it from them. There's still a very decent chance they'll have to fend off FC Dallas on the final weekend to seal the trophy, but it's highly unlikely FCD would need anything except a win in that game. The next three games are crucial for LA and if they slip up, the whole race could be thrown into haywire.

Why LA won't win the Supporter's Shield:

If LA doesn't win two of their next three, there's a good chance the race could be very close to tied which will heap all sorts of pressure on LA. Pretty simply it's a 3 game season for LA to lock things up. Take care of business against NY at home, Chivas(basically at home) and Philly; the trophy is theirs.

Odds of winning the trophy: 3/2

Real Salt Lake

Last 5 games: 11 points

W vs Chicago, T @ Seattle, W vs Red Bulls, T @ Toronto, W vs Columbus,

Next 5 games:

vs Rapids, @ Revs, @ Red Bulls, vs FC Dallas, @ Rapids

Why RSL will win the Supporter's Shield:

RSL is probably the best team in MLS right now and the favorites to repeat as champions. They're a well oiled machine with very dangerous forwards and the best defense in the league. They've gotten a stellar 11 points through a tough schedule and are literally unbeatable at home right now.

Why RSL won't win the Supporter's Shield:

To pass LA, RSL will have to possibly make up 4 points on LA depending on goal difference and I just can't see where those points are going to come from. Their schedule is just killer through the last five games of the season with only two of those at home, both against playoff teams, and two more tough road games against playoff teams. It would take a haul of at least 9 points including a win against FC Dallas to have any chance of taking home the trophy and I'm not sure RSL has that in them. They'll certainly have to earn the Shield if they want it.

Odds of winning the trophy: 3.5/1

Columbus Crew

Last 5 games: 7 points

L vs Seattle, L @ Galaxy, W @ DC United, T vs FC Dallas, W vs Rapids

Next 5 games:

@ New England, vs San Jose, @ Chicago, @ Toronto, vs Philadelphia

Why Columbus will win the Supporter's Shield:

With just 1 game left against an MLS playoff team, Columbus has the easiest road through the last five games of the season. Columbus will need at least 12 points from their last five games to have a shot, but it's not unfeasible to think they could win four of these five games.

Why Columbus won't win the Supporter's Shield:

To put it simply, SS winning teams don't get beat 4-0 at home in the last six weeks of the season. The Crew have been systematically destroyed the past couple of weeks losing a combined 7-1 to LA and Seattle. While they do have the easiest road left, Columbus also has the most games left with 9 in all competitions in the last five weeks. I would imagine Columbus will focus on USOC and Champions League while using the last game against Philly to get back in their groove. Will the last two games break them or galvanize them? It just doesn't seem like the Crew's year.

Odds of winning the trophy: 8/1

FC Dallas

Last 5 games: 9 points

T vs New York, T @ San Jose, W vs Toronto, T @ Columbus, W vs Chivas USA

Next 5 games:

vs New England, @ Kansas City, vs Chicago, vs Colorado, @ RSL

Why Dallas will win the Supporter's Shield:

They're such a hard team to beat, FC Dallas should be in the race heading into their last two games of the season. The next four games are all winnable for Dallas and it's very possible that with some luck Dallas could actually be within two points of first place after this weekend. They've overcome some very tough injuries and will have to get past a couple more well documented injuries and suspensions in the next few weeks but if they can manage nine or ten points in their next four games, Dallas will have it's destiny in their own hands as they go to Salt Lake City.

Why Dallas won't win the Supporter's Shield:

Too many injuries and too many draws. Dallas is going to be quite formidable come playoff time, but two games in the next 5 days without Shea, Hartman or Hernandez is really going to show us what Dallas is made of. Had FCD come out of the New York game with three points, they'd be in a much better position and the real question for this team is will they get another couple of draws in their last four playoff games. They must get at least 10 points from the last four home games to have any shot and that's a big ask.

Odds of winning the trophy: 5/1