Chasing Josef: Carlos Vela on pace to challenge all-time single-season mark

Carlos Vela's scintillating 2019 campaign stayed on track for history on Saturday night, with the LAFC superstar scoring upon his return against the Philadelphia Union after two games out injured. 

Vela now has a total of 28 goals in 27 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 27 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 (27 matches) 28 2366 1.07
2018 Martinez (27 matches) 28 2113 1.19

With a four-goal lead in the race for the 2019 Golden Boot presented by Audi, which includes Martinez himself as the next closest challenger, Vela is favored to claim that honor as we hit the final stretch of the regular season.

But there's still a lot of work to do – another four goals, to be exact, with four games left for LAFC in the regular season – before Vela can unseat Martinez for the all-time single-season mark.

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