The final day of the 2018 regular season couldn’t have gone any better for the New York Red Bulls — or any worse for Atlanta United.
With the Supporters’ Shield — along with all kinds of seeding, and the sixth and final playoff spot — on the line, this is how the final Eastern Conference’s final day played out…
Supporters’ Shield: Toronto FC take an early lead on first-place Atlanta United. Atlanta holding onto top spot by virtue of third tiebreaker, goals scored (69-61).
Supporters’ Shield: Red Bulls win a penalty kick, but Derrick Ettiene’s effort is saved. Red Bulls remain second on goals-scored tiebreaker.
Supporters’ Shield: Toronto score again. ATLUTD’s goal differential drops to +27, sending Red Bulls into first.
Third-place race: New York City FC restore their two-goal lead on Philadelphia Union. D.C. United currently sitting fourth, by a single point.
Supporters’ Shield: Red Bulls break through at long last. Derrick Etienne gives his side a two-point cushion back to Atlanta.
Sixth-place race: After a lengthy weather delay, Columbus Crew SC are first on the board against Minnesota United. Thanks to Philadelphia’s struggles, Gregg Berhalter’s side sits fifth.
Supporters’ Shield: Josef Martinez pulls Atlanta back to 2-1, but they need two more with the Red Bulls leading.
Supporters’ Shield: Before Atlanta could get a second, Toronto got a third. That’s the Supporters’ Shield all but sewn
Supporters’ Shield: And a fourth.
After head coach Jesse Marsch departed in the summer, Chris Armas took over a Shield-contending team and finished the job.