Mexican winger and LAFC player Carlos Vela was named captain of the 2019 MLS All-Star team in a vote by fans.
Carlos Vela has taken the MLS by storm and his spectacular weekly performances have his team, Los Angeles FC, sitting on top of the league.
On Friday, the striker scored yet again in LAFC’s 4-3 win over Atlanta United. Vela’s goal was his 36th league goal since signing with Los Angeles in August 2017, tying Erick “Cubo” Torres for most goals by a Mexican-born player in MLS. “Cubo” played 44 games with Chivas USA (2013-2015) and 49 with the Houston Dynamo (2015-2018).
Vela leads the league with 22 goals and is second with 12 assists, making him a heavy favorite in the MVP race with 12 games remaining. In addition, LAFC has the best record in the league with 49 points (15-4-3), 11 points better than the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference. The points total is also 10 points better than Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia Union (where Marco Fabian plays).
Also last week, he received an honor from fans as he was selected to be the MLS All-Star team captain for a second consecutive year. The Cancun native will wear the captain’s armband in the All-Star Game against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.
Vela was voted the captain last summer, too, when the MLS All-Stars battled Juventus to a 1-1 draw, before the Italian giants won 5-3 in a penalty kick shoot-out.
The recognition from the fans was confirmed a week after the much-hyped “controversy” involving LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovich who mocked his rival after reporters asked if he were the best player in MLS. The Swedish superstar boldly declared that that he is by far a better player than Vela, asking reporters how old Carlos is then reminding them that when he was 30 he was playing for AC Milan.
The “media war” occurred in the days preceding the LAFC-L.A. Galaxy match, a rivalry game known as “El Trafico.” Zlatan scored a hat trick as the Galaxy defeated Vela and LAFC by a 3-2 score (Vela scored both of his team’s goals).