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Around MLS: USMNT friendlies, Supporter's Shield race, playoffs, and more

We look into the USMNT friendlies, the Supporter's Shiled race between Los Angles and Seattle, the MLS Cup playoffs, and more.

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FC Dallas came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 last week, in what was possibly Landon Donovan's last game at Toyota Stadium. Let's take a look at what else is happening around MLS.

USMNT friendlies

As you are probably aware, the United States Men's National Team played a friendly this past Friday night against Ecuador. It was Landon Donovan's last game representing the red, white, and blue. Mix Diskerud scored early and the USMNT held the lead for most of the game, but Ecuador tied the game late off a wonder-goal from West Ham striker Enner Valencia. The game ended 1-1. Here is the players that were called up for the game:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton)
, DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund II), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)

As you might not be aware, Jurgen Klinsmann decided to shake up the roster for the friendly Tuesday night and bring in six MLSers. Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Sean Johnson, Jermaine Jones, and Graham Zusi have been called upon to face Honduras. The players sent back to their clubs include: John Brooks, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, and an injured Joe Gyau. Updated roster vs. Honduras:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (6): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)

For me, it's somewhat disappointing to see John Brooks being sent back to Hertha Berlin. He's struggling to get minutes with the first team and needs the game time and experience. Brooks needs this time to help propel him back into the first team and possibly the starting XI. Everything else makes sense, since Gyau is injured.

The game kicks off tonight at 7:00 pm CT on ESPN.

Supporter's Shield

Okay, there's two weeks left in the regular season and only two teams left battling it out for the Supporter's Shield. Those two teams are Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. Both sit at the top of table, tied at 60 points. Oddly enough, they play each other the next two weeks, in LA and in Seattle. If you don't know what the Supporter's Shield is, it is the award given to the team that accumulates the most points throughout the season and is at the top of the MLS standings. Let's break down the scenarios and I'll let you know who I think will win the race.

Scenario 1: If Seattle win one out of the two, they win the Supporter's Shield. Even if LA wins one and both would be tied on points, Seattle has the advantage due to the first tiebreaker (total wins). Seattle currently has two more wins than LA.

Scenario 2: If LA wins both or wins one and ties one, they win the Supporter's Shield.

Scenario 3: If both games are ties, Seattle wins the Supporter's Shield.

So, the odds are heavily in Seattle's favor. They control their own destiny. Win, and they're the numbed one seed heading into the playoffs, winning the Supporter's Shield for the first time in club history. However, I have a feeling LA will find a way to win the Supporter's Shield. In the only game the two played against each other this year, LA trounced Seattle 3-0, IN SEATTLE. LA has been the hotter team as of late, and I think Donovan and Robbie Keane will take matters into their own hands.

MLS playoffs

Well, the playoffs are right around the corner. Let's take a look at who's in, who's eliminated, and who's fighting for their lives.

In the Eastern Conference, D.C. United, New England Revolution, Sporting Kansas City, and New York Red Bulls have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, and Montreal Impact have been eliminated from contention. That leaves Columbus Crew (46 points) and Toronto FC (40 points) fighting for that final spot in the East. Columbus plays New York on the road and Philadelphia at home to finish the season. Toronto play Montreal at home and New England on the road. Who makes it? Definitely Columbus. All the Crew have to do is tie one game. For Toronto to make it, they would have to win both games and Columbus would have to lose both. I don't see that happening.

The Western Conference is a different story. Seattle Sounders, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, and FC Dallas have already clinched a spot in the playoffs. Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, and San Jose Earthquakes are eliminated from contention. The Portland Timbers (45 points) and Vancouver Whitecaps (46 points) will battle it out for that fifth spot. Portland has to face RSL at home and FCD on the road. Vancouver only has to play San Jose on the road and Colorado at home. It's a safe bet that Vancouver will advance considering the difficulty of Portland's remaining matches.

Team of the Week

The MLS Player of the Week was Diego Valeri.

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