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Calling it: MLS Western Conference race is over

Chris Wondolowski;  Marvin Chavez;  Steven Lenhart; Victor Bernardez

San Jose Earthquakes’ Chris Wondolowski, second from right celebrates with teamamtes Marvin Chavez, left,, Steven Lenhart, second from left, and Victor Bernardez after scoring against Toronto FC during first half MLS soccer action in Toronto on Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Major League Soccer’s Supporters Shield race isn’t over … but it is wholly safe to say that the Western Conference crown has been decided. Yes, it’s technically possible for someone to catch the Frank Yallop’s team. But c’mon.

The trickiest match on San Jose’s schedule over the last month was last night’s contest in Seattle. The Earthquakes had to hang on for dear sweet life at the end, but a 2-1 win at Century Link Field has sealed the deal.

(MORE: Chris Wondolowski’s fantastic season continues)

Does anybody really think the Galaxy, as well as Bruce Arena’s boys are playing, can realistically make up 11 points on San Jose in four matches? Not only would the Galaxy have to collect maximum points in that stretch, San Jose would need to go winless over its final foursome.

With a home match against Dallas and road contests at Colorado and Portland (two clubs that won’t make the playoffs) remaining on San Jose’s schedule, that’s not going to happen.

Seattle has an extra game, but Sigi Schmid’s team is realistically just playing for positioning, too.

The Galaxy players aren’t necessarily conceding the Western crown; but they are in so many words. What Landon Donovan said about his team’s remaining month of regular season matches:

We don’t have the luxury of admiring anything we’re doing or thinking we’re great. Because we’re still far away from where we want to be. There’s a lot going on with seeding. There’s a lot going on with our conference that could matter in the end. So we’ve got to keep winning games.”

Here are the standings with four rounds of matches remaining:


Western standings