RSL, Seattle, and the Supporters Shield: Implications for Friday's big match

USA TODAY Sports

The biggest match of the year? Perhaps. Friday's match pitting RSL against Seattle Sounders could end with a swing for either side, and the effects could ripple through the Supporters Shield race.

Real Salt Lake sits with 48 points from 28 matches — 1.71 points per game. This is pretty strong, and certainly enough to guarantee us a playoff spot, though not mathematically, but really, that's a non-concern.

Seattle sits with 46 points from 26 matches — 1.77 points per game. This, you see, is slightly better than our points-per-game measure, but we shouldn't let that get at us.

As the two sides play in a heated battle tomorrow, the impact could be vast. A win for RSL sees them with 51 points from 29 matches — 1.76 points per game, and Seattle with 46 points from 27 games — 1.70 points per game. This puts RSL slightly in the drivers seat, but two wins for Seattle in their games-in-hand would still them jump ahead.

A win for Seattle sees RSL with 48 from 29 — 1.65 points per game — and Seattle with 49 from 27 — 1.81 points per game. That's quite good.

A draw would see RSL with 49 from 29 — 1.69 points per game — and Seattle with 47 from 27 — 1.74 points per game. This escalates the race outside of the match, but it also leaves a golden opportunity for Montreal Impact, currently at 45 points from 26 matches — to leap in and take the race by the metaphorical horns.

Read Zach Slaton's wholly statistical approach on Forbes

There are certainly Supporters Shield implications to this, but more important right now is ensuring that RSL finishes ahead of Seattle. Anything less than a win makes that a very difficult proposition indeed.

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