Halfway through a nationally televised contest billed as an early season potential MLS Cup preview, there can be no debate about the early leader in the race for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award.
Despite having an early penalty saved, Carlos Vela continued his sensational form in LAFC's afternoon tilt at D.C. United, scoring the opener (video above) and then contributing a devilish, outside-of-the-boot assist on the first peg of Diego Rossi's first-half brace.
Vela has an incredible seven goals and five assists through LAFC's opening five-and-a-half matches, which puts him on pace not only to run away with this year's MVP honors, but into the discussion of best MLS season of all time.
Assuming only 30 appearances overall, he's still on pace to score 35 goals and add 25 assists, and even if he falls off that pace substantially he appears likely to challenge to become the first 20/20 player in MLS history.
Former Toronto FC man Sebastian Giovinco came close in 2015, posting 22 goals and adding 16 assists in his MVP campaign.
Rossi added a second goal to make it 3-0 in the 32nd minute with a classy one-touch finish after some strong defensive and setup work by Mark-Anthony Kaye.
Rossi completed his hat trick in the 76th minute after Vela tackled the ball off of Junior Moreno deep in the D.C. end. After a quick couple passes, Rossi squeezed the ball past Bill Hamid to put LAFC up 4-0.