It looks like the 2022 Supporters' Shield race will go down to the wire.
- LAFC entered Sunday having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference ahead of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs and a 2023 Concacaf Champions League berth by virtue of Austin FC and Nashville SC's 1-1 draw the night before. After seeing Carlos Vela's opener from the spot cancelled out, they pulled out a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC.
- Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Union drew 0-0 with Atlanta United behind a superb effort in net by Andre Blake. Philadelphia haven't officially locked up first in the East, but with a five-point lead over CF Montréal, it appears to be a formality. They did, however, claim a CCL berth.
What it means
- With Week 32 in the books, LAFC and the Union are level on points with two matches to go, sitting on 64 points a piece.
- LAFC's win, though, is their 20th, compared to 18 for the Union. The first tiebreaker is wins, so if both teams finish even on points, LAFC will claim their second Shield in club history.
- "Our focus is always on the next game, and it has been the entire season, and I think that is the best way to deal with situations like this," LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said following the match. "There are two games left. I think it's very clear that if you win both games, we know what happens. But if we don't win, we don't know what happens."
- LAFC travel to the Portland Timbers on Oct. 2 (3 pm ET | ABC, ESPN Deportes) before returning to Banc of California Stadium to host Nashville on Oct. 9 - Decision Day (5 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+). Meanwhile, the Union visit Charlotte FC on Oct. 1 (5:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+) and welcome Toronto FC, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, to Subaru Park on Decision Day (2:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
- "There's not a lot of Supporters' Shield-winning teams that have also won [MLS] Cup, so it's not always about just finishing the regular season on top, but it's about going into the playoffs with that momentum, coming off a couple of big wins." LAFC defender Ryan Hollingshead said. "So if we can put a string of wins together here... not only will that give us the Shield, but it will set up us well for some good rhythm going into playoffs."