There's a new single-season goals king in MLS, and once again, he's MLS Player of the Week.
Vela entered the final regular-season match with 31 goals in league play in 2019, matching Josef Martinez's output with Atlanta United in 2018. He scored his first two goals in three minutes on Sunday, breaking the single-season goals record in the 28th minute with a lofted shot from outside the box with the teams still in transition.
He followed that up with possibly his best goal of the year in the 31st minute, a bicycle kick from close range when he had no other option in terms of shooting. Vela then completed the hat trick with a tap-in from a low cross in the 51st minute.
Vela finished the MLS regular season with the Golden Boot presented by Audi, with 34 goals, and was third in the league with 15 assists. His combined 49 goals and assists shattered the previous record, as LAFC – winning the Supporters' Shield – set all-time records in points in a season, goal difference and matched the record for team goals scored.
The Player of the Week award is Vela's sixth of the season, by far the most among players this year.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.