There's little doubt Toronto FC is the best team in MLS this season, its 3-1 win at Chicago on Saturday dropping the Fire nine points off the pace in the Eastern Conference.
Only NYCFC, which Toronto had beaten, 4-0, three weeks ago remains in striking distance,
four points behind in second place in the Eastern Conference and Supporters' Shield race.
If Toronto FC keeps up its current pace, it will become just the third MLS team -- and first that
played 34 games -- to average two or more points per game since the league abandoned the shootout tiebreaker after the 1999 season.
It needs 20 points in its last nine games to beat the
record of 2.04 points-per game set by Miami in 2001, its last season in MLS. The regular season was shortened because of the 9/11 attacks.
Best MLS regular-season record: (post-shootout era) PPG TEAM GP/P (YEAR) 2.04 (1) Miami 53/26 (2001) 2.00 (2) San
Jose 64/32 (2004) 2.00 (3) Toronto FC 50/25 (2017) 1.97 (4) LA Galaxy 67/34 (2011) 1.97 (5) LA Galaxy
59/30 (2010) 1.96 (6) Chicago 53/27 (2001) 1.94 (7) San Jose 66/34 (2012) 1.90 (8) Columbus 57/30 (2008) 1.88 (9) Seattle 64/34 (2014) 1.85 (10) Seattle 63/34 (2012) 1.85 (10) Sporting KC 63/34 (2012)
Michael Bradley said Toronto FC was shooting for Chicago, which was unbeaten at home before
"We knew that they're a good team that's had a good season," said the TFC captain. "For a long time, we thought we'd come into this game and the difference between us and
them would be a point or two. Obviously, they've let a few points get away from them over the past few weeks so in the end the gap is getting bigger but nonetheless there is a lot riding on this. We
prepared in the best possible way this week. We came in understanding it was going to take a big effort. They've not lost here up until tonight this season."
Toronto FC, which has never
finished higher than fifth in the overall MLS standings in its 11 years in the league, is shooting to become the first Canadian to win the Supporters' Shield.
"We wanted to send out a
message across the league that said that the Supporters' Shield means a lot to us," Bradley added. "We are giving everything we have to win it and we are going to go for it every time we step on the