Carlos Vela enjoyed a dream MLS season. (Photo courtesy of MLS)

Los Angeles Football Club forward Carlos Vela Sunday won the Major League Soccer Golden Boot with an MLS record 34 goals. Vela recorded a hat-trick to overtake the goal-scoring record.

The 34 goals is tied for third worldwide alongside the reigning Golden Boot winners from both La Liga (Lionel Messi – 36 goals for FC Barcelona) and Ligue 1 (Kylian Mbappé – 33 goals for Paris Saint-Germain).

With a goals-per-game average of 1.10, Vela finished the season above Messi (1.05) and in near reach of Mbappé’s per-match production (1.13). Vela becomes the first player in MLS history to finish a season with a goals-per-game average higher than 1.0, joining Zlatan Ibrahimović who finished 2019 with a goals-per-game average of 1.03.

Vela broke numerous records, surpassing Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez’s mark of 31 goals in a season set last year. His 49 combined goals (34) and assists (15) shattered the league record of 38 set by Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco in 2015.

The Mexican international has raised $34,000 for the LAFC Academy through the ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program, a multi-year initiative launch by Audi and dedicated to expanding the breadth of academy resources through contributions toward player education, housing and transportation. The funds raised by Vela – $1,000 per goal scored during the MLS season – will be used by the LAFC Academy to ensure young players are supported as they endeavor to maintain excellence on the pitch and in the classroom.

Vela helped LAFC break the MLS record for points in a season, finishing with 72 points (21-4-9 overall record).

Major League Soccer Golden Boot/Scoring Champion winners

Season Player Team Goals/Points (G/A)
2019 Carlos Vela Los Angeles Football Club 34 goals
2018 Josef Martínez Atlanta United 31 goals
2017 Nemanja Nikolić Chicago Fire 24 goals
2016 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 24 goals
2015 Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 22 goals
2014 Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls 27 goals
2013 Camilo Sanvezzo Vancouver Whitecaps FC 22 goals
2012 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 27 goals
2011 Dwayne De Rosario D.C. United 16 goals
2010 Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes 18 goals
2009 Jeff Cunningham FC Dallas 17 goals
2008 Landon Donovan Los Angeles Galaxy 20 goals
2007 Luciano Emílio D.C. United 20 goals
2006 Jeff Cunningham Real Salt Lake 16 goals
2005 Taylor Twellman New England Revolution 17 goals
2004 Amado Guevara MetroStars 30 (10g, 10a)
Pat Noonan New England Revolution 30 (11g, 8 a)
(TOP 3: Amado Guevara, MetroStars (10g, 10a = 30 pts); Pat Noonan, New England Revolution (11g, 8a = 30 pts); Brian Ching, San Jose Earthquakes (12g, 4a = 28 pts)
2003 Preki Kansas City Wizards 41 (12g, 17a)
(TOP 3: Preki, Kansas City Wizards (12g, 17a = 41 pts); Carlos Ruiz, L.A. Galaxy (15g, 5a = 35 pts); Ante Razov, Chicago Fire (14g, 6a = 34 pts); Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution (15g, 4a = 34 pts)
2002 Taylor Twellman New England Revolution 52 (23g, 6a)
(TOP 3: Taylor Twellman, New England Revolution (23g, 6a = 52 pts); Carlos Ruiz, Los Angeles Galaxy (24g, 1a = 49 pts); Jeff Cunningham, Columbus Crew (16g, 5a = 37 pts)
2001 Alex Pineda Chacón Miami Fusion 47 (19g, 4a)
(TOP 3:  Alex Pineda Chacón, Miami Fusion (19g, 4a = 47 pts); Diego Serna, Miami Fusion, (15g, 15a = 45 pts); John Spencer, Colorado Rapids, (14g, 7a = 35 pts)
2000 Mamadou Diallo Tampa Bay Mutiny 56 (26g, 4a)
(TOP 3: Mamadou Diallo, Tampa Bay Mutiny (26g, 4a = 56 pts); Clint Mathis, Los Angeles/MetroStars, (16g, 14a = 46 pts); Ante Razov, Chicago Fire (18g, 6a = 42 pts); Diego Serna, Miami Fusion, (16g, 10a = 42 pts)
1999 Jason Kreis Dallas Burn 51 (18g, 15a)
(TOP 3: Jason Kreis, Dallas Burn (18g, 15a = 51 pts); Roy Lassiter, D.C. United, (18g, 11a = 47 pts); Ronald Cerritos, San Jose Clash (15g, 9a = 39 pts)
1998 Stern John Columbus Crew 57 (26g, 5a)
(TOP 3: Stern John, Columbus Crew (26g, 5a = 57 pts); Cobi Jones, Los Angeles Galaxy (19g, 13a = 51 pts); Welton, Los Angeles Galaxy (17g, 11a = 45 pts)
1997 Preki Kansas City Wizards 41 (12g, 17a)
(TOP 3: Preki, Kansas City Wizards (12g, 17a = 41 pts); Jaime Moreno, D.C. United, (16g, 8a = 40 pts); Raul Diaz Arce, D.C. United (15g, 6a = 36 pts)
1996 Roy Lassiter Tampa Bay Mutiny 58 (27g, 4a)
(TOP 3: Roy Lassiter, Tampa Bay Mutiny (27g, 4a = 58 pts); Preki, Kansas City Wiz (18g, 13a = 49 pts); Eduardo Hurtado, Los Angeles Galaxy, (21g, 7a = 49 pts)

* Up to the 2004 season, the Scoring Champion was determined by total points, with a goal counting two points and assists counting as one. Beginning in 2005, the title was renamed the Golden Boot, and awarded to the leading goalscorer in the season. In case of a tie, the winner will be decided by the player with the most assists; if still tied, the winner will be the player with fewer minutes played.