MLS Western Conference Update: Shields, Cups, Boots & Spoons

Jeff Vinnick - Getty Images

With just two games now remaining, the end-of-season hardware is quickly falling into place.

San Jose Earthquakes

10/6 result: 4-1 win at Colorado

The Quakes are on the verge of a few pretty remarkable accomplishments -- not only do they have a near lock on the Supporters Shield but they could be the first team to finish an MLS season with 70 points. Chris Wondolowski not only has a lock on the Golden Boot but is only two goals away from matching the single season record for goals scored set in 1996. More results like Saturday's will help, but if the Quakes are able to clinch all these records against Los Angeles, will they never say die in a completely meaningless match against the Portland Timbers?

10/21 projection: 41% chance of a win vs Los Angeles

Seattle Sounders

10/7 result: 3-0 win vs Portland

After the Portland Timbers politely asked the Sounders to score three against them, Seattle now has a 77% chance of retaining the Cascadia Cup. Blerg.

10/17 projection: 45% chance of a win vs Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake

10/6 result: 2-1 win at Los Angeles

After a rough August and early September during which they only scored three goals in six games, RSL has ridden a Timbers Bump to three straight wins, scoring eight times in those matches. Fabian Espindola has played a key role in that resurgence, logging three goals and three assists. Espindola, like Wondolowski, has picked a good time to get hot.

10/17 projection: 31% chance of a win at Seattle

LA Galaxy

10/6 result: 2-1 loss vs Salt Lake

After a long run of matches against vastly inferior teams -- 5-0-2 against the likes of Toronto, Chivas, and Colorado -- the Galaxy hit a brick wall against Salt Lake, losing 2-1 to them at home. Whether that serves as a wake up call or a sign of things to come in the post-season will be interesting to watch.

10/21 projection: 33% chance of a win at San Jose

Vancouver Whitecaps

10/3 result: 4-0 win vs Chivas

Wow, that must have been satisfying. After going a month and a half without a win, scoring just three times in seven matches, Vancouver absolutely crushed Chivas on four goals by four different players in front of the home fans. I'll admit it: I'm jealous.

10/21 projection: 58% chance of a win vs Portland

FC Dallas

10/7 result: 1-1 draw at Chivas

On the other hand, I am not jealous on Dallas fans right now. They had every reason to be optimistic about sneaking into the playoffs, only to watch their team lose all their nerve against the Western Conference's worst team. Their slim chance at the playoffs now rests on the slumped shoulders of the Portland Timbers, who must beat the Vancouver Whitecaps to keep Dallas' hopes alive.

10/27 projection: 26% chance of a win at Seattle

Colorado Rapids

10/6 result: 4-1 loss vs San Jose

The Rapids are two points ahead of the last place team in the Western Conference, a place they haven't landed in since 2001. They'll have a chance to pad that point total against Chivas, but if they miss it, it's going to be a long offseason for Rapids fans.

10/20 projection: 52% chance of a win at Chivas

Chivas USA

10/7 result: 1-1 draw vs Dallas

If you want to see a prime example of what one player can do to a team, watch the first and second halves of Chivas vs Dallas. Well, two players -- firstly, the absence of Danny Califf from the lineup gave Chivas a fighting chance in the first half. But the insertion of Juan Pablo Angel in the second half very nearly gave the goats their first win since July, as he contributed seven shots in his 45 minutes and completely changed the look of the game.

10/20 projection: 27% chance of a win vs Colorado

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