Carlos Vela is a man on fire for Los Angeles Football Club, but just how impressive is his start to the 2019 season? You might not need us to tell you this, but when you open up the history books, it’s up there with some of the best season-opening runs MLS has ever witnessed.
With 10 goals through nine games, the Mexican international has matched the pace Chris Wondolowski set in 2012, as well as Roy Lassiter in 1999.
FASTEST TO 10 GOALS FROM START OF SEASON
During that star-spangled season with the San Jose Earthquakes, Wondolowski tied Lassister’s single-season goal record (27), was named Most Valuable Player and took home Golden Boot honors for the second time in his career. In Lassiter’s own fast and furious start with D.C. United, he ultimately bagged 18 goals as the Black-and-Red won MLS Cup.
Vela’s not only making his mark on the goal-scoring front, though. He has also contributed five assists, meaning he’s directly factored into 15 of LAFC’s 25 goals, or 60 percent of the time they’ve found net. That combination keeps pace with several MLS all-time greats, who also reached a combined 15 goals and assists through 10 games.
They include Lassiter in ‘99, and then a LA Galaxy trio of Landon Donovan (2008), Welton (1998) and Cobi Jones (1998). The best part about Vela’s run? He has done it in nine matches, and can make the mark his own when LAFC travel to the Seattle Sounders for a rematch on Sunday (3:30 pm ET | ESPN, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada), having won 4-1 in Southern California this past Sunday.
MOST GOALS + ASSISTS, FIRST 10 GAMES OF SEASON
That all goes to say, no, your eyes are not deceiving you. Vela, at 30 years old, is playing some of the best soccer of his career.
But Vela isn’t buying into the hype, at least not outwardly. After LAFC’s demolition of Seattle on Easter Sunday, his remarks were team-focused, not individualistic.
“Individually, I’m trying to help my team and do my best every game,” Vela said at the time. “The team is working really well this season. We are believing in our level. We think we can beat any team in this league. So, our goal is to win the championship. If we want to do that, we have to have a lot of games like today and working hard is the only way to do something.