Supporters Shield closeup-generic

The marching orders for LAFC are clear: beat the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park (3 pm ET | ABC, ESPN Deportes) and the 2022 MLS Supporters’ Shield trophy becomes theirs.

That Week 33 scenario arrives after the Philadelphia Union lost 4-0 at Charlotte FC on Saturday evening, a game in which the Eastern Conference leaders allowed striker Daniel Rios to score four goals for the expansion side.

Decision Day factor

However, if LAFC lose or draw Sunday at Portland, the Shield will come down to results on Oct. 9. Here's who the two frontrunners (currently on 64 points apiece) will play on Decision Day, at which point CF Montréal are also in contention:

  • Philadelphia host Toronto FC - 2:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • Montréal visit Inter Miami CF - 2:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • LAFC host Nashville SC - 5:00 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

A win over Portland brings LAFC to 67 points, and Philadelphia couldn't catch the Black & Gold on the first tiebreaker (wins) irrespective of possibly drawing level on points on Decision Day. The Union have 18 wins heading into Week 34, two back of first-year head coach Steve Cherundolo's team.

Montréal's last-gasp chance

For Montréal to lift their first-ever Supporters’ Shield, they’d first need LAFC to lose at Portland on Sunday in Week 33. Then in Week 34, sitting on 62 points, head coach Wilfried Nancy’s team would need a Decision Day win and to get help via LAFC and Philadelphia losses. The odds aren’t in CFM’s favor, but the door to silverware remains ajar.

Chasing more history

Should LAFC hoist the Supporters’ Shield, it’d be the second time in four years they’d claim the honor of being regular-season champions. They also won in 2019, setting a then-record for single-season points (72) that got broken by Shield winners New England Revolution a season ago.

LAFC are already guaranteed to have the Western Conference's No. 1 seed in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. A Supporters' Shield triumph would ensure home-field advantage throughout the postseason, including MLS Cup on Nov. 5, should they make it that far.