The Supporters' Shield comes to the Heart of Los Angeles

The Supporters' Shield has a new home in the Heart of Los Angeles.

In less than two seasons, and after years of planning, LAFC has built a championship team and a community unlike any other in MLS. We are thankful to witness history and be a part of the fabric of this Club. Watch Carlos Vela and LAFC lift the Supporters’ Shield.

This is only the beginning.

With the Supporters' Shield LAFC earn:

  • The best record in MLS for the 2019 season

  • Homefield advantage throughout the playoffs

  • Entry into the CONCACAF Champions League

  • The team name etched onto the trophy, one of only 13 teams to earn the shield.

Photo by Edgar Garibay

Photo by Edgar Garibay

MORE PHOTOS from LAFC’s Supporters’ Shield win

A Supporter’s take on the Supporters’ Shield

The most unique — and arguably the most important aspect — of the Supporters’ Shield are its roots in supporter culture. The Shield was created by a collective of supporters from around the league to further competition in North America and show how integral supporters are in the beautiful game. The sterling piece of silverware symbolizes how a team, united with its supporters, can accomplish a significant amount over the course of a season.

Since 1999, the Supporters’ Shield has been the Major League Soccer equivalent of international league titles. It is representative of the team who earned the most points by the end of the season by collecting the most wins and positive results. A testament to the season long performance of the club and an excellent piece to hoist in celebration. 

The Supporters’ Shield is an integral trophy in the MLS and North American soccer and grants the winner with entry into the CONCACAF Champions League tournament among other perks. 

The ‘Shield’ in other countries

Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Barcelona -- all are high-caliber teams competing at the sport’s highest levels and the most recent champions of their respective leagues. In European leagues, such as the English Premier League and German Bundesliga, the best club is designated by which team has the most points at the end of their season after a double round-robin schedule. 

The aforementioned championship squads are considered some of the best in the world, with millions of fanatics and followers and renowned in even the most remote places. Finishing top of the league table is all that matters, even for clubs without the clout of the Barcelonas of the world. Supporters around the world look forward to the day they can say “We won the league!“ and the sentiment is no different here. 

Every match counts in season long success

The Los Angeles Football Club is closing one of the most remarkable seasons in MLS history. The 2019 season is headlined by a fiery team captain Carlos Vela who is having his own historic run and a favorite league MVP candidate. Vela’s 29 goals are leading a potent goal scoring squad which has a +44 goal differential and looking to leave their mark on MLS history

With 68 points (20-4-8) LAFC is only 3 points short of tying the league record for most points in a single season (71). The Black and Gold’s historic run has culminated in Carlos Vela and company lifting the club’s first silverware. 

LAFC goes international

The Supporters’ Shield also guarantees a ticket to next year’s CONCACAF Champions League where LAFC will get to showcase its attacking football philosophies with the continent. LAFC already earned entry into the next CONCACAF tournament by virtue of securing the best record in the Western Conference

Just getting started

The postseason tournament known as the MLS Cup Playoffs, shares a similar model to the United State’s other Football league and features a single elimination tournament for the ultimate crown: The MLS Cup. LAFC will have to hunker down and defend The Banc as the team begins its journey through the MLS playoffs. The MLS Cup is still highly sought after and an ultimate goal for Bob Bradley and his squad. 

The designation of true league champion is muddied by additional games and steps to fulfill what some believe the Supporters’ Shield already dictates. Whether you believe that the true winner of the league is determined by a single elimination playoff system, or by season long hard work and dedication, there is a trophy case big enough for both. 

LAFC supporters should take a moment to celebrate and be proud of the Supporters’ Shield win. The team  has solidified its place as the top of the league and one of the best in the world.

- By Pablo Martinez, 3252 Member

Photo by Ruben Chairez

Photo by Ruben Chairez

The 3252 ISU directors and leaders

The Supporters’ Shield is everything. LAFC has laid it all on the field and the supporters have laid it out on the stands. Everything the front office has put into the team, the ownership assembling everything together as one big, well-oiled machine. In my eyes the Supporters’ Shield is of greater significance than the MLS Cup. 

  • Jimmy, The 3252 president  

The Supporters' Shield is not just the object you see. It’s the feeling of accomplishment and joy you feel inside. It’s the soreness in your legs in the morning after a match on your way back to work. It’s the smile on your children’s face when they put on the Black and Gold colors of the kit. It’s the smell of the smoke emanating from the North End. It’s the cleansing mist of beer showers after a Carlos Vela goal. It’s knowing that you are a real part of an award originated from the Supporters to the team for being the best. All glory, all passion, no profit, no sponsors, no League just Supporters. Damn that feels good !

  • Mauricio, The 3252 vice-president

The Supporters’ Shield shows LAFC has made it as a club, that we have made it as supporters, and that we have come together as a city. We have something that proves we are here, and it’s only the beginning.

  • Austin, The 3252 director  

In my opinion the Supporters’ Shield is the hardest domestic trophy that an MLS Club can win. Only 13 teams have had the honor of lifting it after achieving sustained greatness for an entire season. The shield is also unique because it truly exemplifies the amazing grassroots support that has developed since the leagues’ inception in 1996. The Shield isn’t burdened by the name of a random sponsor or lesser known business executive. Instead, it is etched with the name of the people that grow the beautiful game every day: football supporters. 

  • Joseph, former 3252 president

Sporting wise, the Supporters’ Shield signifies that we are the league champions. It is harder to stay consistent throughout the long MLS season than to win a four game knockout tournament. It is also a reflection of how much work we have put into this community. People described Portland and Seattle active supporters with great praise and I knew we always had potential in us here in Los Angeles. The 3252 has the motivation to be number one and I think we have proved that over the first two seasons. The combined work of LAFC, from the front office to the team on the field, and the energy we display in the stands earned that Shield. Everyone involved deserves it, we should enjoy the time and pat ourselves on the back for this one. 

  • Monty, The 3252 director 

The Supporters’ Shield to me is more than just a trophy given to the team with more points at the end of the season. To me the Supporters’ Shield represents teamwork, loyalty to the club, the coach, teammates and supporters. It highlights a season of ups and downs, but we persevere by believing in each other. The Supporters’ Shield to me screams unity. 

  • Jose, The 3252 director 

Aside from home field advantage throughout the playoffs and possibly hoisting that MLS Cup at home, the Supporters’ Shield is special because of the history behind it. Created by the supporters, for the supporters. Supporters are seen as the 12th man, we exist to boost the team. So the Supporters’ Shield means slightly more because it feels like it truly binds us with the team. 

  • Su Jin, The 3252 supporter group leader

The Supporters’ Shield is the capstone of a history making campaign and the culmination of a season of hard work, dedication and tireless belief. A trust in our head coach Bob Bradley and the front office to successfully build a championship caliber team. A belief that our supporters can nurture an atmosphere of active support unlike anything else in the city and the league. 

  • Mark, The 3252 director