Decision Day - 2018 - what's at stake

Even after 380 regular season matches, there's still plenty to play for on Decision Day, presented by AT&T.

Here's what hinges on Sunday's final 11 contests of the season: 

Supporters' Shield hangs in the balance

They will go down as two of the all-time best teams in MLS history, but one of them will be second-best in 2018.

The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United have already broken the league's single-season win record (21) in the post-shootout era, but the Red Bulls still trail Atlanta by just one point for the Supporters' Shield awarded to the team with the league's best record.

ATLUTD have tied Toronto FC's all-time record for most points in a season (69), while New York (68 points) are expected to join them on Sunday at home to Orlando City SC. But Atlanta are chasing more than just a record: They want to win the club's first piece of silverware against the defending champions and current Shield holders, Toronto FC. 

Win and Zlatan's in


That's how Zlatan Ibrahimovic dropped the mic at TCF Bank Stadium after the LA Galaxy beat Minnesota United3-1 in the penultimate matchday of 2018.

That victory, combined with Real Salt Lake's 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers, puts the Galaxy just one point below the playoff line in the West behind RSL. And since RSL have played all 34 of their regular season matches, being the lone side with a bye on Decision Day, LA just need to beat the Houston Dynamo at home to make the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

If LA draw, they'll be out due to RSL holding the first tiebreaker (most wins). But the Galaxy are in with a victory — which is more than LA could have possibly hoped for just a few weeks ago.

Race for the No. 6 seed, Part 2

There's a similar battle brewing between frontrunners Columbus Crew SC and the chasing Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference, except for the fact that the Canadian side sits two points away.

It's stunning that Crew SC have fallen from a seemingly comfortable No. 4 seed to now being in danger of missing the playoffs altogether. But their two-point edge means a Decision Day win would clinch the playoffs for Crew SC. Anything less? Montreal could overtake them since they own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Columbus host Minnesota United, while the Impact travel to New England. It's still all to play for on Sunday for 6th place in the East.

No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the West

For current West leaders Sporting Kansas City to finish 2018 atop the Western Conference, the schedule worked out that they would control their own destiny in the final two weeks of the season.

In Week 34, SKC traveled to face then No. 1 side FC Dallas, and played a fantastic match en route to a 3-0 win that allowed them to overtake the Texans for the top seed in the West. Next up, Sporting KC close at home vs. new No. 2 LAFC in a contest that will see the prevailing club lay permanent claim to the No. 1 playoff ranking in the West. With SKC two points ahead of LAFC, a draw will be enough to keep their hold on the top spot. 

Meanwhile, the formula is just as straightforward for No. 3 FC Dallas, who head to Colorado to face the Rapids. Regardless of what happens in KC, a road win for FC Dallas would secure them a top-two seed and the Knockout Round bye that comes with it.


In his final home game of the season last Sunday, Chris Wondolowski needed one goal against the Rapids to tie Landon Donovan's all-time MLS scoring record of 145 goals. But the fairytale scenario just wasn't meant to be, meaning #WondoWatch continues to Decision Day and perhaps even into 2019.

Wondolowski has one final attempt to tie, and possibly break, Donovan's mark in 2018. There are seldom more difficult settings, though, as the Quakes travel to Seattle to line up against the league's second-stingiest defense.