The Supporter's Shield, handed out annually to the MLS team with the best regular season record by way of points, will not be awarded in 2020.
The Supporter's Shield Foundation is responsible for handing out the award and put out a statement on their Twitter account citing a lack of fans being able to attend games due the current COVID-19 pandemic.
An announcement from the Supporters' Shield Foundation board: pic.twitter.com/JSF8mmUXFp— Supporters' Shield Foundation (@SupporterShield) October 17, 2020
"After much consideration and discussion the Supporters' Shield Foundation has decided to forego awarding the Supporters' Shield for the 2020 season," the Foundation said. "This is not an easy decision to make. With the inability for supporters to be in attendance and fill their stadiums with passion, however, we feel as though the current climate goes against the spirit of the Shield.
"The Supporters' Shield Foundation stands with our players and our supporters in knowing that this year has been one of many challenges, and we commend the support and effort given to making the best of the 2020 season as it has been. With no 2020 winner to house the Shield, we will be taking 2021 as a means to spread the word and spirit of the shield across the entire league. We look forward to educating supporters on the the Shield's history and passion, as well as welcoming new supporter groups to MLS. As long as it can be safely done, the Supporters' Shield will be going on tour in 2021 so that as many supporters as possible may be able to see and learn about this wonderful symbol of North American soccer. On behalf of the Supporters' Shield board, we hope everyone remains safe. We look forward to awarding the Shield to the winners of the 2021 season."
Toronto FC held the best record in MLS at the time of the announcement with 38 points in 18 matches. TFC last held the award in 2017.
MLS since has since responded to the Independent Supporters Council of their decision.
"Major League Soccer has been notified by the Independent Supporters Council of their decision to not award the Supporters' Shield this season. Everyone involved in MLS understands that the 2020 season -- like every major professional sports league -- was unprecedented in our history," MLS said in a statement. "The club that finishes at the top of our regular season will have persevered through a highly challenging year. As in previous seasons, this team will be the top seed in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, earn a berth in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and receive the bonus that goes to the club that finishes first overall in the regular season standings. Most of all, the millions of people who follow and support our league, teams and players will always remember the club that finished as 2020 MLS regular season leader."