Carlos Vela scored a league-record 34 goals this season. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
The Los Angeles Football Club, in conjunction with Major League Soccer, will make a special announcement Monday at Banc of California Stadium Monday at 2 p.m. ET.
The probable news from that announcement is that LAFC striker Carlos Vela will be awarded the MLS Golden Ball as the league’s MVP.
MLS usually announces its MVP prior to MLS Cup. This year’s final will be held in Seattle Sunday, Nov. 10.
In a press advisory, the league and LAFC said that former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and John Thorrington, the team’s general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations, will attend the press conference along with “additional special guests.”
If Vela does win the Golden Ball, it certainly would make sense.
After all, he won the Golden Boot with a league-record 34 goals.
His 34 goals 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.
Vela helped LAFC break the MLS record for points in a season, finishing with 72 points (21-4-9 overall record). The team, however, was eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs, losing to Seattle Sounders FC Tuesday, 3-1.