1. New York Red Bulls: 51 points, 4 matches left.
Remaining schedule: @Seattle, New England, @Houston, Chicago.
New York has put themselves into a really good position for their final four matches and could probably be considered the team to beat for the Supporters Shield. The match against Seattle will be a tough one for both sides but the remaining three matches are ones that New York should win. However New England and Houston are both in playoff spots currently and will be fighting for their playoff lives in their own remaining matches. They absolutely need points against the Red Bulls, which could be beneficial to the other teams chasing in the Shield race.
2. Seattle Sounders FC: 50 Points, 6 matches left.
Remaining Schedule: New York, @Colorado, Vancouver, @Portland, @FC Dallas, Los Angeles.
So why is New York the team to beat and not Seattle, despite the Sounders having a better points per game ratio? Look at the Sounders' remaining schedule. If the season ended today, four out of six of those teams are in the playoffs with Vancouver just missing. While Seattle has played tremendous soccer as of late, their schedule has many teams fighting for playoff spots and seeds and will be trying to get all the points they can. With Seattle's recent form, however, I would not be surprised to see them do well in their final six matches and get enough points to win the Shield.
3. Real Salt Lake: 48 Points, 4 matches left.
Remaining schedule: @Vancouver, FC Dallas, @Portland, Chivas USA
Real Salt Lake has two very tough matches left on the road but they have two opponents at home who occupy last and second-to-last place in the Western Conference. These are games that Real Salt Lake should be able to get some points from. With Real Salt Lake losing their past two matches to Seattle and San Jose, however, they'll need to reverse their recent form. I have faith in them that they will for their two home matches but their fate with the Shield will all depend on how they do against Vancouver and Portland.
4. Sporting Kansas City: 48 Points, 5 matches left.
Remaining schedule: Philadelphia, @Columbus, @Houston, DC United, @Philadelphia
Sporting Kansas City still has a reasonable shot at the Shield and their schedule is a huge benefit. Philadelphia and Houston are still fighting for playoffs although the Union might be out by the time the last match of the season is played. Sporting got a win in Houston earlier this year, they've destroyed Columbus on two separate occasions and DC United is a team that Sporting absolutely should beat. It's fair to say that Sporting has the easiest schedule out of the Shield contenders. They can win the Shield, but they can't afford to drop points with this schedule.
5. Portland Timbers: 46 Points, 5 matches left.
Remaining schedule: Los Angeles, @Vancouver, Seattle, Real Salt Lake, @Chivas USA
Portland is facing one of the toughest schedules out of the contenders, needing to win nearly all of their matches to keep pace. They've played well recently, winning their last two of three matches but this schedule will be their biggest obstacle in making a run in the Shield standings. The good part is that they have three of their five toughest opponents at home, plus one of their road matches is Chivas USA. Portland has the ability to make a run, but they better put together some wins coming up.