FiveThirtyEight: Philadelphia Union surge past Toronto FC as Supporters' Shield favorites

Marc McKenzie - Philadelphia Union - clapping

The Philadelphia Union’s 5-0 walloping of Toronto FC last weekend didn’t just boost the confidence of head coach Jim Curtin’s team. It also saw their Supporters’ Shield odds surge past 50%, per the latest FiveThirtyEight projections.

The stats gurus now have Philadelphia’s odds at 59% to win the Shield, which will indeed be awarded this season after the Supporters' Shield Foundation reversed its initial decision. They originally decided not to award the annual trophy due to the lack of fans in the stands and an unbalanced schedule, among other reasons, but then walked things back.

Should the Union win the Shield, it’d be their first major trophy since entering MLS as an expansion team in 2010. They’ve been to three U.S. Open Cup finals (2014, ‘15, ‘18), but have fallen short each time.

To close out the year, Philadelphia will first host Chicago Fire FC on Wednesday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) before traveling to Columbus Crew SC (Nov. 1) and wrapping with the New England Revolution (Nov. 8) on Decision Day presented by AT&T. The latter two currently occupy an Eastern Conference playoff spot, so it’s certainly not an easy path as the Union play two of their final three regular-season games at Subaru Park.

The Union also lead the MLS Cup odds at 19%, though the Seattle Sounders (reigning champions) are close behind at 14%. Toronto’s then at 31% in the Shield race, which is closer than you’d think since they’re also on 41 points and Philadelphia only lead through goal differential (+22 versus +8) at the moment.

As the 2020 season winds down, the Shield race is bound to go down to the wire. Check out the full projections here, and digest the current Shield and MLS Cup favorites below:

FiveThirtyEight: Projected Supporters' Shield Chances

  1. Philadelphia Union – 59%
  2. Toronto FC – 31%
  3. Seattle Sounders – 5%
  4. Columbus Crew SC – 3%
  5. Sporting Kansas City – <1%

FiveThirtyEight: Projected MLS Cup Chances

  1. Philadelphia Union – 19%
  2. Seattle Sounders – 14%
  3. LAFC – 11%
  4. Toronto FC – 9%
  5. NYCFC – 7%