The Mexican winger had a tremendous season in Major League Soccer , earning the Landon Donovan MVP Award.
Carlos Vela is the latest Mexican player to take the MLS by storm, and his second season with LAFC proved to be a record-setting year for the 30-year-old Cancun native. Vela scored an MLS record 34 goals in 33 games and also supplied 15 assists, setting a new single-season points record in the North American league. Vela led LAFC to their first ever Supporters Shield but came up short in the Western Conference finals where they lost to Seattle.
Vela’s performance and his leadership – he was team captain – led LAFC to an MLS record 72 points and the team also set a record for most goals scored, 85, and boasted a goal differential of +48. Truly a masterpiece team that Vela transformed into an MLS powerhouse in only their second season. “Charlie Candle” had an average of 1.10 goals per games, while leading the league in shots taken (160) and shots on goal (71), making it one of the best individual seasons of all time. He was also named captain of the midseason MLS All-Star team.
Carlos Vela won the MVP vote by a large margin, earning 69.6% of the overall votes (he earned 80.3% of the player vote and 63.9% votes of the media vote. The LAFC star beat his cross-town rival, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the LA Galaxy (Ibra had 30 goals) who came in second with only 14% of the vote, and last year’s MVP, Josef Martinez of Atlanta United.
With all these accolades that Vela has recently accomplished it truly shows that his level of play did not diminish after many critics mentioned that the MLS would hurt his career but certainly it was not the case. As well, Vela stated a few months back that playing in the MLS he found his “love and passion” for the game which caused his name to be thrown around with teams where he could potentially land like FC Barcelona in Spain and maybe make an ultimate return to the Liga MX, with the team that saw him born, Chivas. Now with the MLS season over, it will be worth the watch to see where Carlos Vela could make his next move or continue to stay in the black and gold uniform.