The race for the Golden Boot presented by Audi is going down the wire, and one of the contenders isn't sure he got a fair shake at the scoring title.
LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, sitting in second place with 29 goals, to LAFC's Carlos Vela's 31, told reporters at training — without specifically naming his opponent — on Friday ahead of the Galaxy's Decision Day presented by AT&T clash against the Houston Dynamo (4 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada) that Vela's edge isn't quite fair.
"I am trying to score goals every game, that is part of my responsibility, part of what I have to do to help my teammates," Ibrahimovic said. "I have 29 goals in 28 games. If I would have the same amount [of] games like the other ones, it would be different. But now I'm chasing someone that has more games than me. If we score we score, we'll have to see what the end number will be. If there still is a possibility, we'll try."
The Swede has made 28 appearances this year. He missed two games in March with an injury, and was suspended two games in May after an altercation with NYCFC's Sean Johnson, and missed one more game against Atlanta United suspended with yellow card accumulation in August. Vela, meanwhile, has missed three games this year, one where he was rested in July, and two with an injury in September.
While the 38-year-old joked that he did not want to be reminded of his age as it made him "feel old," he insisted the ultimate aim is to achieve team glory.
"I prefer the collective win, when we win that game, that is more important," he said. "With the collective success the individual success comes with it. If I can do good for my team, with my team, I know I'm doing good. I'm not focusing on the individual bonuses, I always say it's like a bonus. Without my teammates those things would not be possible. If I win, it's my team that wins. Whoever wins the Golden Boot has to think it's not because of him, it's because of his teammates."