Carlos Vela is the new goal king of Major League Soccer.
LAFC’s Mexican superstar set a new MLS single-season scoring record on Decision Day, presented by AT&T, with his hat trick vs. the Colorado Rapids at Banc of California Stadium, his 32nd, 33rd and 34th of the 2019 campaign, breaking the record set by Atlanta United's Josef Martinez last year. It also clinched his capture of the Golden Boot presented by Audi.
And he did it in style with a patented left-footed shot from distance, an acrobatic scissors kick and a perfect first touch as he ran onto a cross. It was a hat trick that showcased Vela's many talents:
Those two record-breaking runs in back-to-back seasons are particularly remarkable given that the previous record of 27 goals in a season was originally set by Roy Lassiter in 1996, the league’s inaugural year, and stood for more than two decades, with only Chris Wondolowski in 2012, then Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2014 able to match it.
Vela’s newest milestone follows in the wake of him setting a new mark for goals plus assists in a single season last month, an achievement he’s now pushed to 49 combined goals and assists on the year.
He was also a central cog in LAFC’s confident cruise to the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, a trophy they clinched on Sept. 25, and will be integral to their pursuit of MLS Cup.