Carlos Vela's scintillating 2019 campaign stayed on track for history on Sunday night, with the LAFC superstar scoring from the penalty spot and adding two assists in his team's 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls in Week 23.
Vela now has a total of 23 goals in 23 matches this season, a total that has him on track to challenge the single-season record of 31 goals set by Atlanta's Josef Martinez in 2018.
Vela has actually fallen behind Martinez's goals-per-90 minutes average when compared to the Venezuelan international's first 23 matches in 2018. Martinez's pace slowed down towards the end of the season, as he scored just three goals in his last eight matches:
|Player||Goals||Minutes||Goals per 90|
|2019 Vela (23 matches)||23||2059||1.01|
|2018 Martinez (23 matches)||24||1764||1.12|
With a three-goal lead in the race for the 2019 Golden Boot presented by Audi, including 2019 Josef, Vela is favored to claim that honor as we plunge into the dog days of summer.
But there's still a lot of work to do – another nine goals, to be exact – before Vela can unseat Martinez for the all-time single-season mark.