So it all comes down to this. After 29 MLS matches it is all quite simple for the Los Angeles Galaxy (17-7-5, 56pts). Win, and they take the Supporter's Shield. Lose and well it gets more complicated.
Despite losing to the Colorado Rapids 1 - 3 last week, the Galaxy just need a win over FC Dallas (12-3-14, 50pts) on Sunday at 5pm to clinch the Supporter's Shield. The other way the Galaxy can win the shield is with a result equal to Real Salt Lake's result on Saturday. Should Salt Lake lose to Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Cup, the shield would rest in Los Angeles by default. Real Salt Lake lead the Galaxy in goal differential, +25 to +17, so a tie in points would go to Salt Lake.
Despite starting on Saturday, Gregg Berhalter is still listed as questionable. Also questionable are Todd Dunivant, Dema Kovaleko, and Leonardo.
The Galaxy can finish no lower than second, which means they will have home field advantage in their first playoff matchup, playing away in the last week of October followed by a home leg the first week of November. Taking the Supporter's Shield would not only give them home field advantage through the playoffs, but give them a berth in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, bypassing the play in round where the Galaxy were eliminated this past year by the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Last Saturday's game saw two streaks snapped: winning when scoring first and when Edson Buddle scores a goal. The Galaxy were 16-0-0 on the season when scoring first, as opposed to 1-6-2 when conceding the first goal. Going back to last season, the Galaxy had won 27 straight games when scoring first going back to a 1-1 draw against Dallas on May 23, 2009. The Galaxy also had a streak of 44 games without a loss when scoring the first goal, going back to 2007.
- Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan were both on the scoresheet for the Galaxy's goal on Saturday, extending Buddle's lead for the Golden Boot and Donovan's lead in the assists column. Buddle now has 17 goals this season, a career high, a three better than his closest competition, San Jose's Chris Wondolowski.
- If Donovan Ricketts can etch his name in the Galaxy record books if he allows fewer than two goals on Sunday. Ricketts has started 28 games, compiling a 17-7-4 record and a 0.89 goals against average. This is .02 points lower than the current Galaxy record holder Kevin Hartman.
- The Galaxy will announce their team awards winners on Sunday, MVP and Defender of the Year which are voted on by the media, the Golden Boot to the top goal scorer, and the Humanitarian of the Year Award. Last year Donovan was MVP and Golden Boot winner, while Ricketts took Defender of the Year and Todd Dunivant was the Humanitarian award winner.