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Chivas USA: The unlikely kingmaker

The road to the Western Conference title runs through Chivas USA

Ben Zemanski hasn't had much luck against RSL in either kit.
Ben Zemanski hasn't had much luck against RSL in either kit.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Chivas USA won't be making the playoffs but the team potentially has a say about this year's Western Conference and Supporter's Shield winners.

Six teams can still win the Supporter's Shield-the trophy given to the team with the most points in the season. Currently the New York Red Bulls sit in the driver's seat and if they pull it off, they will be the first Eastern Conference club to hoist the cup since the Columbus Crew did in 2009.

Tonight's match between Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers, available from MLS as their free streaming match of the week, will have huge implications in the both Western Conference standings and in the Supporter's Shield race. Following the outcome of the match, both teams will each play a final match against Chivas USA. In effect, Chivas gets another chance to play the spoiler role.

Despite Real Salt Lake being 4-0-1 against the Timbers, outscoring them 15-8, over their last four games, the MLS editors unanimously tabbed Portland to win. Portland will need to win, otherwise they would be hinging their cup hopes on a Chivas USA squad who is 1-4-0 against RSL, outscored 12-2.