NEW YORK(Saturday, September 30, 2017) – Major League Soccer tonight announced that Toronto FC has secured the 2017 MLS Supporters’ Shield, earning the top seed in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs by virtue of achieving a 19-5-8 record and 65 points, which no other team can surpass in the final weeks of the MLS regular season.
Complete Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs qualification procedures and format can be found here.
Setting sights on consecutive MLS Cup appearances, Toronto boasts an 11-game unbeaten streak from July 5-September 16, and is on pace to potentially surpass a number of League records, including most goals per game and the greatest margin of goal differential in a single season. Netting an average of 2.22 finishes per outing, TFC (by season’s end) could eclipse one of the highest goal scoring averages since the 2.12 goals per game standard set by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012. Proving success on both sides of the ball, TFC could also be within reach of the goal differential record, as the club currently holds a margin of +36 with two games remaining to reach the +44 mark set by the LA Galaxy in 1998.
Led by U.S. Men’s National Team players Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, Greg Vanney’s star-studded squad also includes 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who has finished a single-season record five goals on set pieces in 2017. Off the boots of unsung midfield hero Victor Vazquez, who leads the League with 16 assists, TFC has also found success through consistent play from a strong contingent of Canadian National Team players.
The Supporters’ Shield, introduced by organized fan groups, is awarded annually to the supporters of the team with the best regular season record in MLS. The Supporters’ Shield has been won by a total of 11 different MLS clubs throughout the league’s 21-season history, with both the LA Galaxy and D.C. United hoisting the trophy a record four times. Of the previous 20 winners, six have gone on to win MLS Cup, one has lost in the Cup final, seven have been eliminated in the Conference Championships, while seven have lost in the Conference Semifinals.
Major League Soccer Supporters’ Shield winners
2017: Toronto FC (19-5-8, 65 points)
2016: FC Dallas (17-8-9, 60 points)
2015: New York Red Bulls (18-10-6, 60 points)
2014: Seattle Sounders FC (20-10-4, 64 pts.)
2013: New York Red Bulls (17-9-8, 59 pts.)
2012: San Jose Earthquakes (19-6-9, 66 pts.)
2011: LA Galaxy (19-5-10, 67 pts.)
2010: LA Galaxy (18-7-5, 59 pts.)
2009: Columbus Crew (13-7-10, 49 pts.)
2008: Columbus Crew (17-7-6, 57 pts.)
2007: D.C. United (16-7-7, 55 pts.)
2006: D.C. United (15-7-10, 55 pts.)
2005: San Jose Earthquakes (18-4-10, 64 pts.)
2004: Columbus Crew (12-5-13, 49 pts.)
2003: Chicago Fire (15-7-8, 53 pts.)
2002: LA Galaxy (16-9-3, 51 pts.)
2001: Miami Fusion (16-5-5, 53 pts.)
2000: Kansas City Wizards (16-7-9, 57 pts.)
1999: D.C. United (23-9-0, 57 pts.)
1998: LA Galaxy (24-8-0, 68 pts.)
1997: D.C. United* (21-11-0, 55 pts.)
1996: Tampa Bay Mutiny* (20-12-0, 58 pts.)