That’s the latest development in the Black-and-Gold’s incredible season, as Minnesota United’s 2-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night ensured they’ve won the Western Conference regular season for the first time in club history.
Bob Bradley’s team, winless in three matches, still has five games left in the regular season. Though first place in the West guarantees them a CCL berth, their next objective is to win the Supporters’ Shield. From MLS, one of three guaranteed slots goes to the Shield winner and another goes to the conference regular-season champion that hasn't won the Shield.
MLS teams are set to occupy five spots in the 2020 tournament, with one already secured after Atlanta United beat Minnesota to earn their first U.S. Open Cup title. Another is set to go to either Toronto FC or the Montreal Impact as winners of the Canadian Championship. The MLS Cup champion will also earn an automatic spot, with a spot potentially opening up for the Shield's second-place team should LAFC, Atlanta, the Canadian Championship winner or the first-place team in the East also capture MLS Cup.
LAFC have been playing without Carlos Vela as of late, though he’s already set an MLS record for combined goals and assists (42), reaching that point in 26 matches. They hold a nine-point lead in the Shield race (63), with New York City FC (54) in second.
2020 Concacaf Champions League berths
- U.S. Open Cup winner (Atlanta United)
- Canadian Championship winner (Montreal Impact or Toronto FC)
- Supporters' Shield winner
- Eastern or Western Conference regular-season champion (non-Shield winner)
- MLS Cup champion