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Update: There will still be a Supporters’ Shield awarded in 2020

Last week, the Supporters’ Shield Foundation announced that there wasn’t going to be a Supporter’ Shield awarded in 2020.

Toronto FC play the Montreal Impact on the day they are awarded the Supporters Shield Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Update 10/23: Now the Supporters’ Shield will be awarded.

Last week, the Supporters’ Shield Foundation announced that there wasn’t going to be a Supporter’ Shield awarded in 2020.

While some agree with the decision, the original tweet was also met with questions and frustration.

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney even weighed in with his opinion, telling TSN’s Kristian Jack that “My players are pissed. It is a huge sign of disrespect to the players. It has arguably been the most difficult season in the history of our league where people have put their health at risk to play and put games on television for fans. This season required a huge commitment from all the teams — people were genuinely afraid for their health. It’s a disgraceful decision that delegitimizes the whole idea of the Shield in our opinion. Those made the decision are like kids in a park who take the ball away when the game isn’t going their way. It’s childish and a symbol that they don’t know how sports operates.”

TFC are currently sitting at the top of the league standings, six points ahead of the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters’ Shield race.

After all the blowback, the Foundation further clarified their decision, saying “it has become unclear whether every team will play the same number of games in the 2020 season, or if the league will move to a points per game model for seeding.” They also said that the “extremely unbalanced scheduling of this season... leaves too many questions regarding who the true winner will be.”

Regardless of what the Foundation decided, we can all agree that this is not a normal year and it surely wasn’t an easy decision. The truth of the matter is, the schedule isn’t even remotely balanced: Each club is playing a handful of other clubs within their conference and the Canadian teams aren’t even playing in their own country, much less their own stadium. Some are allowing supporters, while others won’t play in front of fans until next year.

On the other hand, shouldn’t the team that overcomes these challenges be rewarded? There’s an argument to be made that there will still be playoffs and an MLS Cup, which is the ultimate goal, but as Vanney said, awarding the Supporters’ Shield would be a way for the fans to recognize the effort and commitment that the players have put forth this season.

There’s probably no right or wrong answer here, but what do you think? Should there be a Supporters’ Shield awarded this season?


Should there be a Supporters’ Shield awarded in 2020?

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